“Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them,” McConnell said. “She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation.”
The former President is focusing his political energy on targeting Cheney. According to one source, Trump has repeatedly questioned his Republican allies about efforts to remove Cheney from her leadership position and run a primary candidate against her. He has also been showing those allies a poll commissioned by his Save America PAC that purports to show that Cheney’s impeachment vote has damaged her standing in Wyoming, even urging them to talk about the poll on television.
McConnell, who voted last week along with 44 of his Senate GOP colleagues to keep alive an effort to dismiss the Senate impeachment trial on constitutional grounds, has privately told associates he believes Trump committed impeachable offenses, according to sources familiar with the conversations.
When asked by Fintech Zoom last week if he believes Trump‘s actions ahead of the riot amounted to impeachable conduct, McConnell sidestepped the question — and later said he was a juror and would assess the arguments. But unlike House Republicans, most Senate Republicans are distancing themselves from Trump‘s actions, even though they’re signaling they’ll vote to acquit on the grounds that they believe the Senate shouldn’t be trying a former president.
“Look, I support her, but I also have concerns,” McCarthy said last month, days before he jaunted down to South Florida to visit the former President and claimed the two were united in attempting to take back the House next year.
McConnell hasn’t spoken to Trump since December 15.
This story has been updated with more information.
Fintech Zoom’s Caroline Kelly and Michael Warren contributed to this report.