Freedom Caucus leader warns McConnell over Senate ad

The conservative firebrand credited with pressuring then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJim Jordan as Speaker is change America needs to move forward Paul Ryan’s political purgatory Republicans fear retribution for joining immigration revolt MORE (R-Ohio) to resign in 2015 issued a warning Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell sees Ohio in play as confidence about midterms grows   Giuliani: White House wants briefing on classified meeting over Russia probe GOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending MORE (R-Ky.) and his establishment allies.

“Anytime leadership goes after Freedom Caucus members, it’s not the prudent thing to do,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the far-right Freedom Caucus, told reporters in the Speaker’s lobby.

Meadows was referring to a television ad funded by the McConnell-linked Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), that attacked Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksAlabama sues Census Bureau for counting undocumented immigrants GOP lawmaker says rocks falling into ocean to blame for rising sea levels Republican worries 'assassination risk' prompting lawmaker resignations MORE (R-Ala.) as a “career politician” who has teamed up with liberals Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFortune 500 CEOs: The professional athletes of corporate America The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — The art of walking away from the deal Rising star Abrams advances in Georgia governor race MORE (D-Mass.) in attacking President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Meetings on potential North Korea summit going 'very well' Freed American 'overwhelmed with gratitude' after being released from Venezuela Ivanka Trump to campaign for Devin Nunes in California MORE.

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The ad from the McConnell-aligned super PAC uses video clips of Brooks criticizing Trump during the 2016 presidential primary.

“I don’t think you can trust Donald Trump with anything he says,” the congressman says in the ad, adding that those who vote for Trump will regret their decision.

Brooks, regarded as one of the most conservative House members, is challenging new GOP Sen. Luther Strange, the former Alabama attorney general who was appointed in February to replace Jeff Sessions after he was confirmed as Trump’s attorney general.

McConnell and his allies, including the SLF, are backing Strange in the Aug. 15 special Senate primary. And they believe Brooks’ past criticisms of Trump, who’s enormously popular in Alabama, will severely harm his Senate ambitions.

But Meadows suggested the SLF is attacking Brooks so aggressively in ads and news releases because the congressman is rising in the polls.

“Of course he’s a viable candidate. I think he wins,” Meadows predicted.

Two years ago this month, the North Carolina conservative stunned Washington by filing a “motion to vacate” resolution to try to oust BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJim Jordan as Speaker is change America needs to move forward Paul Ryan’s political purgatory Republicans fear retribution for joining immigration revolt MORE from the Speakership. That move, on Meadows’ birthday, came after Boehner had retaliated against several Freedom Caucus members, and it triggered a series of actions that led to Boehner’s resignation just two months later, in the middle of his third term as Speaker.

When reporters jokingly suggested he could present a "motion to vacate" in the Senate, Meadows replied that there is no procedural maneuver to remove a sitting Senate majority leader.

“It’s not fun to joke about those things in July, but I do know there is no vehicle over there,” Meadows said.