'Damaged' Trump will duck attacking McConnell over fears it will blow up in his face: NYT reporter
Donald Trump speaks to a large crowd at "An Address to Young America" an event hosted by Students for Trump and Turning Point Action. (Nuno21 / Shutterstock.com)

Speaking with CNN host Abby Phillip early Sunday morning, New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman said Donald Trump will likely not engage in a war with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over his scathing post-impeachment comments because a failed attack would show he has lost sway over the GOP.

Calling the ex-president "damaged" goods after the second impeachment, Haberman said Trump will still try to influence future elections but keep his distance from confronting McConnell.

"McConnell is not going to get any brownie points from Trump for voting to acquit him, in part because of how he slammed him in his earlier statement making the house impeachment managers' point," Phillip stated. "What is the reaction in Trump world? What do you think could be the consequences for McConnell, if there are any? Obviously he just won his own reelection bid, but what are the potential consequences down the road for him as a result of that decision yesterday?"

"I think, Abby, candidly I think there are very few consequences for Mitch McConnell in terms of what he said yesterday," Haberman replied. "I think that [Politico's] Rachel [Bade] is absolutely right, there would have been great consequences to him within his conference if he had voted to convict and that was the calculation that he was making."

"He just won reelection, he is almost 80 years old, I don't think that Trump's threats about MAGA-land are going to do a ton in terms of Mitch McConnell and I don't think that Trump would want to launch that effort and come up short because that would only make the anti-Trump forces stronger," Haberman continued.

"I think Donald Trump has emerged from this trial damaged," she later stated. "I don't think he is as strong as he thinks he is. This is still his party until 2024 when there is another nominee, but at the same time he is not a very diminished figure, but he is diminished."

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