Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) took a shot at Stephen Bannon on Friday, saying that his "political genius" led to Republicans losing the Alabama Senate seat. 

"Well, let me just say this: The political genius on display throwing away a seat in the reddest state in America is hard to ignore," McConnell told reporters with a laugh, asked if he blamed Bannon, President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE's former chief strategist, for Democratic candidate Doug Jones winning last week in Alabama. 
Bannon, McConnell and their allies have publicly traded fire for months, with the Breitbart News executive calling on McConnell to resign and saying last month that he didn't expect the Kentucky Republican to be in leadership a year from now. 
McConnell also called on Moore to withdraw from the Senate race after multiple woman accused him of sexual misconduct and pursuing relationships with them they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. 
Moore and Bannon made McConnell a central figure in the Alabama race, pointing to him as out of touch and an example of Washington trying to control the state's primary. 
The fallout in Alabama isn't the first time conservatives have targeted the Senate GOP leader and incumbent senators.
McConnell has pledged that he and his allies will play in GOP primaries in an effort to stop a repeat of 2010 and 2012, when some weak candidates defeated rivals from the GOP establishment in party primaries only to lose general elections.
"I and people who are allied with me — and I believe the White House will be in the same place I am — want to nominate people who can actually win," he said on Friday.
He added that "we're going to be supporting people who can actually win. ... I think we're going to be very competitive." 
Senate Republicans have to defend eight seats in 2018, compared to Democrats' 25, including 10 in states Trump won in 2016.