Donald Trump preferred candidate for 2024 presidential election

The comments widen the rift between senior Republicans over the party's direction

Most Republicans voted against convicting Trump, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear he still felt Trump was responsible and that he could still face legal consequences.

"Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again".

He went on to write: "Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again".

McConnell had remained loyal to Trump during almost all of his four years in office, when the pair were the two most powerful members of the Republican Party.

"While the majority of Republicans in the Senate abdicated their responsibility to hold the president accountable, we must hold him accountable for the insurrection that he so blatantly planned", added Thompson.

It was Trump's longest statement since leaving office
It was Trump's longest statement since leaving office Credit AFP

"President Trump did not plan, produce, or organize the January 6 rally on the Ellipse", he said.

After 50 Democratic senators and seven Republicans voted that Trump was guilty - a majority in the 100-seat Senate, but not the two-thirds needed for a conviction - McConnell let loose, excoriating Trump for the attack that saw five people die and the halls of the United States legislature ransacked by his supporters.

"Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office, as an ordinary citizen, unless the statute of limitations has run [out]", McConnell said after his vote to acquit. But, after Trump spent months making baseless claims that election fraud cost him the November election against Democrat Joe Biden, McConnell said that overturning the vote because of objections from the losing side would see American democracy enter "a death spiral". Miller wound up confirming the essentials as he tweeted that the reason for this is "simply that there are no pending cases where Mayor Giuliani is representing the President".

Surprisingly, after Trump's acquittal, the number of people in the party who think he should play a major role in the Republican party has increased by 18 per cent.

The clash between the current and former GOP leaders comes as the Republican Party at large grapples with warring factions at odds over whether to continue in Trump's likeness or forge a path veering from the former President's legacy. He also said McConnell "begged" for his endorsement in the senator's home state of Kentucky while running for reelection a year ago _ and suggested he'd work to defeat McConnell and his Republican allies, saying he planned to "back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great". However, the number had taken a dip after the Capitol riot that took place on January 06 and were organised by Trump's supporters. "We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership".

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