Freedom Caucus leader warns McConnell over Senate ad

The conservative firebrand credited with pressuring then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFreedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi Stripping opportunity from DC's children Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer MORE (R-Ohio) to resign in 2015 issued a warning Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal 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 BrooksEx-Sen. Jones rips Mo Brooks over 'irony' remark on Texas Democrats getting COVID-19 Justice in legal knot in Mo Brooks, Trump case Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up MORE (R-Ala.) as a “career politician” who has teamed up with liberals Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate confirms Biden's Air Force secretary Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Will Pence primary Trump — and win? MORE (D-Mass.) in attacking President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race 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 BoehnerFreedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi Stripping opportunity from DC's children Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer 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.