Donald Trump slams Rep Mitch McConnell as a 'dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack' amid political fallout

Former US President Donald Trump has lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, signalling a growing feud between the two most important voices in the Republican Party. 

In a statement posted on Wednesday (NZ time), Trump called McConnell a "dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack".

"If Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again," he wrote. "[McConnell] will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country. Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership."

This comes after the two Republican politicians had a falling out, with Trump irked that McConnell had recognised Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 US Election. 

The gap between them widened when McConnell declared on the Senate floor during Trump's impeachment trial that he believed Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the January 6 Capitol riots.

The politicians are trying to push the party in opposite directions; McConnell back toward the roots of a budget-focused, pro-trade party, while Trump advocates a more populist approach.

In his statement, Trump criticised McConnell's dedication to "business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality".

"This is a big moment for our country, and we cannot let it pass by using third rate 'leaders' to dictate our future!" Trump concluded.

This comes after McConnell released an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Monday (NZ time), defending his decision to vote to acquit Trump of incitement of insurrection.

"There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility," he wrote. "His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone. His behaviour during and after the chaos was also unconscionable, from attacking Vice President Mike Pence during the riot to praising the criminals after it ended.

"Some brilliant scholars believe the Senate can try and convict former officers. Others don’t. The text is unclear, and I don’t begrudge my colleagues their own conclusions. But after intense study, I concluded that Article II, Section 4 limits impeachment and conviction to current officers."