Trump attacked McConnell in personal terms as leader last week. But McConnell still has hold on Senate GOP and appears set to tie Mansfield as longest-serving leader.

If Trump attacks again at CPAC, McConnell might not hear it: He won't be there…
Even after criticizing Trump's "dereliction of duty," McConnell also has no apparent challenger. The most likely McConnell successors, Thune and Cornyn, both back him strongly

Cornyn: "I believe he enjoys the overwhelming support of the conference.”
“The biggest disaster would be if we split in some fashion. It’s exactly what the Democrats would be looking for. And most of us are going to let time be our friend," says Sen. Braun. Senate GOP primaries start in earnest a year from now
"The reason we may well pass a $1.9 trillion [coronavirus bill] … is because we lost the Senate,” McConnell said in the interview this month. “And the reason we lost, as everyone knows, is there was so much confusion down there about whether even voting made a difference"

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More from @burgessev

14 Feb
McConnell interview on future of the GOP: “Have nominees representing the Republican Party who can win in November ... Some of them may be people the former president likes. Some of them may not be. The only thing I care about is electability."…

@MZanona He says he will strongly back all incumbents against primary challenges to people like Thune or Murkowski -- wherever Trump falls

"I’m not predicting the president would support people who couldn't win. But I do think electability — not who supports who — is the critical point"
@MZanona McConnell torched Trump yesterday -- after acquitting him. Don't expect him to keep going after Trump. He wouldn't talk about prosecution of Trump, or criticisms that he's trying to have it both ways. Would he oppose Trump if he runs in 2024? He won't say: "I’m focused on ‘22.”
Read 6 tweets
13 Feb
News: in email to colleagues McConnell says he will vote to acquit Trump, per two sources familiar
McConnell says it was a “close call” but says impeachment is “primarily a tool of removal” and the Senate lacks jurisdiction . He says criminal conduct by a president in office can be prosecuted when the president is out of office
Read 4 tweets
12 Feb
Hawley/Cramer ask if the Senate could in theory disqualify a sitting president but not remove the president
van der Veen responds instead to Castro reading tweets and says that I'm "not from here. I'm not like you guys" and knocks House case as "smoke and mirrors."
Raskin says that's "profoundly inaccurate and irrelevant"

Says they can be separated, although honestly I'm a little confused by that whole exchange
Read 4 tweets
12 Feb
Senate GOP abuzz over who is voting to convict. Smart money is still on 5-6. Privately Rs believe 5-10 senators are weighing conviction votes, per latest reporting with @marianne_levine. McConnell still saying nothing to colleagues. Eyes on Burr, Portman…
@marianne_levine Could there be a surprise tomorrow? “I could see it as possible ... Certainly not enough for conviction,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D).

Asked if it was fair to say he was genuinely undecided, Burr responded: “It’s fair to say I’m not going to talk to you about it at all.”
@marianne_levine There's been a change in the dynamics just from this morning. Murkowski said the Trump legal team is doing better than before, and she's been among Trump's biggest critics.
Read 4 tweets
12 Feb
Sen. Sinema doesn't make waves often. But when she speaks, Democrats need to listen

“The minimum wage provision is not appropriate for the reconciliation process. It is not a budget item. And it shouldn’t be in there," she says in phone interview…
If you want to know what drives Sinema, understand she's NEVER served in the majority before during her career

“There is no instance in which I would overrule a parliamentarian’s decision, ... I want to restore the 60-vote threshold for all elements of the Senate's work.”
When VP Harris went on air in W.Va. + Arizona, Manchin reacted publicly. Sinema was equally unhappy but decided to keep her feelings private

“It’s not effective to pressure me on anything," she says. Says her constituents don't care about "palace intrigue"
Read 5 tweets
10 Feb
Cassidy backlash shows exiled Trump still haunts GOP. Cassidy criticized by state Rs, censured in his own hometown just for voting to advance the trial.

“Republican voters realize this is not healing," said Sen. Johnson. "They’d prefer we move on"…
Cassidy has defended himself and criticized the Trump defense on camera.

“I don't usually do a poll before I take my vote. The vote I took is the conservative constitutional position,” he said.

A local radio host is calling him "Psycho Bill" and said he knifed GOP in the back
Cassidy flirted with a huge political risk in 2017 as he tried to get the GOP's bill to pass the "Jimmy Kimmel Test." That ended with Kimmel calling him a liar. But he took a huge leap on Tuesday

“It’s fraught with political consequence,” said Sen. John Thune, the GOP whip
Read 5 tweets

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