Apr 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump receives award from Senate GOP campaign arm despite attacks on McConnell


Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The National Republican Senatorial Committee named former President Trump as the inaugural recipient of its "Champion for Freedom" award on Monday.

Why it matters: The award from Senate Republicans' campaign arm was presented the same weekend that Trump tore into Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at a Republican event at Mar-a-Lago, calling him a "dumb son of a b*tch" and "stone cold loser."

  • Trump owes McConnell for many of his legislative victories and historic rate of judicial appointments, but the two Republican leaders have not spoken since McConnell condemned the former president for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
  • Trump has also vowed to campaign against some incumbent Senate Republicans, including GOP whip John Thune (S.D.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

The big picture: Trump remains the most popular figure in the GOP, despite clear divisions with McConnell and other establishment Republicans. He's been actively releasing 2022 endorsements and will likely play a major role in GOP primaries for years to come.

  • The NRSC said the award is for "conservative leaders who have worked tirelessly to create good jobs, protect the values that make our country great, and stop the Democrats' socialist agenda."
  • It was presented to Trump by NRSC chairman Rick Scott, a Florida senator and possible 2024 presidential candidate who has straddled a line between loyalty to both Trump and McConnell.

What they're saying: "Throughout his administration, [Trump] made clear his commitment to getting government out of the way of people's success, paving the way for American families and job creators to reach new heights," Scott said in a statement.

  • "President Trump fought for American workers, secured the border, and protected our constitutional rights. We are grateful for his service to our country and are honored to present him with the NRSC's first Champion for Freedom award."
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