Freedom Caucus leader warns McConnell over Senate ad

The conservative firebrand credited with pressuring then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks MORE (R-Ohio) to resign in 2015 issued a warning Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic senator to party: 'A little message discipline wouldn't kill us' House to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Republican lawyers brush off Trump's election comments 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 BrooksOvernight Defense: Trump hosts Israel, UAE, Bahrain for historic signing l Air Force reveals it secretly built and flew new fighter jet l Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals,' official says MORE (R-Ala.) as a “career politician” who has teamed up with liberals Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mass.) in attacking President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick 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 BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks 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.