Jan 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump calls McConnell a "loser" before hanging up on NPR host

Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell

Photos: Saul Loeb, Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump abruptly cut short an interview with NPR on Tuesday after being pressed about his false, baseless claims of election fraud in 2020 and lambasting Republicans who have spoken out against them.

Why it matters: The interview once again highlights the extent to which Trump is willing to turn against members of his own party if they do not back his unsupported claims.

What they're saying: Trump began the interview by stating that rehashing the events of the 2020 election is an "advantage" for Republicans, because otherwise Democrats would "do it again in '22 and '24," referring to his unfounded claim of election theft.

  • Asked why Republican officials in Arizona had accepted the results of the election, Trump said it was "because they are RINOs [Republican in name only]."
  • Host Steve Inskeep asked Trump why Republicans in Congress were not standing by his election claims — referencing Sen. Mike Rounds' (R-S.D.) claims on Sunday that the election was "fair." Trump laid the blame at the feet of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
  • "Because Mitch McConnell is a loser," Trump said.

A few minutes later, after encouraging other Republicans to push the baseless claims, Trump suddenly hung up.

Go deeper: Trump blasts GOP Sen. Mike Rounds for refuting his election claims

Go deeper