Mitch McConnell A Target As Donald Trump Turns Conservatives Against Him

Mitch McConnell
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Donald Trump

Mitch McConnell came under some friendly fire this weekend, with Donald Trump leading a conservative crowd to boo the Senate minority leader at an influential conference.

Trump spoke at this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference, his first public appearance and statements since leaving the White House last month. During his speech, Trump hinted at more to come in his political future but also looked back at some recent political past, taking aim at McConnell and leading the crowd to turn against the Kentucky Republican.

Trump Takes Credit For McConnell's Win

Donald Trump appears at CPAC.
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In his speech, Trump claimed credit for McConnell's victory in November, saying it was his endorsement that put McConnell over the top.

"My endorsement of Mitch McConnell at his request, he asked for my endorsement, brought him from one point down to 20 points up and he won his race in the great state and the great commonwealth of Kentucky. He won it very easily," Trump said, via Newsweek.

With Trump's statement, many in the crowd began to boo McConnell, one of the leading conservative politicians.

Speech Hints At Rift In The GOP

Lisa Murkowski appears at a congressional hearing.
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McConnell wasn't the only conservative politician to come into Trump's crosshairs this weekend. The now-former president had some harsh words for other members of the GOP who broke with him in final weeks of his presidency.

During his speech, Trump also called out the other Republicans who had voted against him in the impeachment trial. A total of seven Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to convict Trump. Though a majority had voted in favor of conviction, they failed to meet the two-thirds threshold needed to bar him from holding office again.

McConnell Had Spoken Out Against Trump

Mitch McConnell apears at an event.
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Though McConnell did not end up voting to convict Trump -- saying he believed it was not within their constitutional right to take action against a former president -- he did have some harsh words for Trump.

In a speech after the trial ended, McConnell said that Trump held personal blame for the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"This was an intensifying crescendo of conspiracy theories orchestrated by an outgoing president who seemed determined to either overturn the voters' decision or else torch our institutions on the way out," McConnell said, via CBS News.

Trump Could Make Political Comeback

Donald Trump appears outside the White House.
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In the speech on Sunday, Trump hinted that he would be making a political comeback. There has been widespread speculation that he will mount another run for the White House in 2024, and Trump's speech fed into those rumors.

"It is far from being over," Trump said at the event, via CNN. "We will be victorious and America will be stronger and greater than ever before." 

Trump has not officially declared what he intends to do in 2024, though many expect him to run again.