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Trump called McConnell ‘a stupid person’ and a ‘knucklehead’ for not eliminating the filibuster during his term, book says

  • Trump slammed McConnell as a “stupid person” and “knucklehead” in a new interview.
  • The former president insulted McConnell over his refusal to kill the filibuster.
  • The interview is in an upcoming book by two Washington Post journalists. 

Former President Donald Trump ripped Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for upholding the filibuster during his presidency, according to an interview in an upcoming book published by Vanity Fair on Monday.

“He’s a stupid person,” Trump said of the Kentucky Republican, per the book. “I don’t think he’s smart enough.”

“I tried to convince Mitch McConnell to get rid of the filibuster, to terminate it, so that we would get everything, and he was a knucklehead and he didn’t do it,” Trump added.

The fight harks back to 2017, when Trump took office and Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress, with a 52-seat majority in the Senate. Trump wanted to push through his priorities and urged for the filibuster to be eliminated. The rule is typically used by the minority party to delay or block bills from the majority.

McConnell killed the filibuster in April 2017 to advance Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, after Democrats expressed their opposition to his confirmation, invoking what is known as the “nuclear option,” which ends debate via a simple majority.

But whenever Trump’s policy proposals, such as funding for a southern border “wall,” stalled in Congress, the president would call on McConnell to go “nuclear.” McConnell refused. Trump gave up when Democrats eventually won the House in the 2018 midterm elections, ending the GOP’s legislative majority.

In the book, Trump said he wished McConnell would have acted more like Meade Esposito, a Democratic leader in Brooklyn from the 1960s to the 1980s, known for his loyalty. 

“Mitch McConnell compared to Meade Esposito, it’s like a baby compared to a grownup football player with brains on top of everything else,” Trump reportedly said.

Trump spoke with Washington Post journalists Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker for their book, “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” which comes out Tuesday. The interview lasted two-and-a-half hours.

Trump said their conversation was a “great honor.”

“I enjoyed it actually,” Trump said, per the book. “For some sick reason I enjoyed it.”

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