Former President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE on Tuesday chastised Republican senators for engaging with President BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE and the White House in talks for a bipartisan infrastructure deal.
The former president weighed in negatively on the negotiations just as the White House is hustling to keep enough Republicans on board so the final bill has a chance of overcoming the 60-vote threshold in the Senate.
"So sad to see certain RINO Republican Senators go back and forth to the White House and continually get nothing for infrastructure or anything else," Trump said in a statement, using an acronym for "Republican in name only." "When will they learn that they are being played with, and used by, the Radical Left — and only bad things can happen. Should have never lost the Senate in the first place, thanks Mitch! New leadership is needed, and fast!"
Trump's statement may give cover to some of his allies in the Senate to dig in against the deal, which was briefly imperiled by Biden saying he would not sign a bipartisan package unless a reconciliation bill came to his desk that would have more Democratic priorities.
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden meets with lawmakers amid domestic agenda panic MORE (R-S.C.), a staunch Trump ally, was among the 11 GOP senators who backed the initial framework for an infrastructure deal, but he has since expressed reluctance about voting for it if Democrats will push through a more partisan reconciliation bill.
Biden has since walked back his comments, and the White House has spent the early part of this week reaching out to staff on Capitol Hill and members of both parties to nail down support for the bipartisan deal.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (R-Ky.) said Monday that he hasn’t yet made a decision on whether to support the infrastructure deal between Biden and the bipartisan group of senators, but that he has concerns about how it’s being paid for.
Trump has in recent days issued multiple statements attacking McConnell and blaming him for GOP losses in Georgia's Senate runoffs. The former president was set off by new reporting that McConnell urged former Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham Woodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China Barr-Durham investigation again fails to produce a main event MORE to push back on Trump's false claims of election fraud.
"Yeah, I don't have any observations about his comment," McConnell said when asked about Trump's statement on Tuesday. "I'm focusing on the present and the future. We have a new administration. We have significant differences about many of the things they're trying to do. Although we hope to be able to get a bipartisan solution to the infrastructure needs that we have in the country. So I'm putting all of my focus on the present and the future."
Jordain Carney contributed