Freedom Caucus leader warns McConnell over Senate ad

The conservative firebrand credited with pressuring then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House passes resolution condemning white nationalism GOP leaders strip Steve King of committee assignments MORE (R-Ohio) to resign in 2015 issued a warning Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOcasio-Cortez rips Trump in first House floor speech: 'It is not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want' Overnight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal Supporters leave notes on plaque outside Ocasio-Cortez's office 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 BrooksCNN anchor spars with GOP rep who accuses CNN of 'misleading the public': 'What's the emergency?' Pence seeks GOP unity, urging lawmakers to 'stand strong' with Trump GOP lawmaker: Pelosi, Schumer have 'American blood' on their hands by not funding wall MORE (R-Ala.) as a “career politician” who has teamed up with liberals Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenMoveOn leaders stepping down before 2020 election Julián Castro calls for ‘tuition-free’ public colleges, apprenticeships Native American leader asks when US will come to its ‘senses’ after Trump’s ‘racist’ attack against Warren MORE (D-Mass.) in attacking President TrumpDonald John TrumpPentagon update to missile defense doctrine will explore space-base technologies, lasers to counter threats Giuliani: 'I never said there was no collusion' between the Trump campaign and Russia Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles 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 BoehnerHouse vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House passes resolution condemning white nationalism GOP leaders strip Steve King of committee assignments 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.