Trump's fury complicates fragile dynamic between Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell
WASHINGTON, DC - (L-R) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) U.S. President Donald Trump listen during a signing ceremony for H.R. 748, the CARES Act in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have a professional, if not particularly close, relationship. But that dynamic may be tested by Donald Trump's mercurial whims and a fragile Republican majority.

McCarthy finally emerged as House speaker following a fractious vote by the narrow GOP majority, while McConnell was unable to take back the Senate leadership after Democrats held onto the majority, and the former president has blamed the Kentucky Republican for losses that many have pinned on his endorsements, reported the Washington Post.

“Something is wrong with McConnell, and those Republican Senators that Vote with him," Trump raged recently on his Truth Social website. "PRIMARY THEM ALL!!!”

McCarthy has publicly credited Trump for helping him secure the speakership, but McConnell hasn't spoken to the former president for more than two years and has publicly blamed him for the disappointing GOP midterm showing, and the narrow House majority will weaken the California Republican's grasp on power.

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“His job is harder than mine [was],” said former House speaker Paul Ryan. “No two ways about it.”

Trump has made McConnell a villain to hard-right lawmakers, who were infuriated that he backed a $1.7 trillion federal funding bill last month, and McCarthy hasn't done much to show support for the Senate minority leader's position.

“There’s probably a group of people who need to realize that Kevin McCarthy is not Mitch McConnell,” said Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL). “So I think that’s probably one of the bigger albatrosses that hangs over [McCarthy], being associated with the not-conservative actions of people like Mitch.”

But those who know McConnell say he won't likely hold that against McCarthy.

“People get way too hung up on buddy movies in Congress, and with McConnell that’s just not a thing,” said a former Senate aide. “He wants to get the work done, he wants to win.”

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