GOP senator dismisses Trump-McConnell feud

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform How a nice-guy South Dakota senator fell into a Trump storm Democrats: Don't reject GOP offer to fix electoral count law MORE (S.D.), the Senate's No. 2 Republican, refused to directly respond to former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE's attack against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellNAACP president presses senators on voting rights: 'You will decide who defines America' Sununu says he skipped Senate bid to avoid being 'roadblock' to Biden for two years 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act MORE (R-Ky.) while urging Republicans to embrace party unity.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Thune was asked about remarks Trump made Saturday evening at a Republican National Committee (RNC) gathering at Mar-a-Lago, during which the former president reportedly referred to the Senate GOP leader as a "dumb son of a bitch" for not opposing the certification of the 2020 election results.

“If that were Schumer instead of this dumb son of a bitch Mitch McConnell, they would never allow it to happen. They would have fought it,” Trump told attendees, according to The Washington Post, referring to Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Voting rights week for Democrats (again) Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Hundreds attend mass funeral for victims of Bronx apartment building fire MORE (D-N.Y.).

In response, Thune said on Sunday that such rhetoric was just "part of the style and tone that comes with the former president," adding that he believed the two men shared a common goal of defeating Democrats.

Thune also refused to respond to Trump's threat of endorsing a primary challenger in the senator's 2022 race, saying he would make an announcement regarding his reelection plans later this year.

"I will announce something on my reelection plans as I typically do later in the year," he said.

Thune's comments are part of a larger pattern among Republicans who refuse to directly respond to the former president's attacks and criticism aimed at members of the GOP who did not support challenges to the certification of the 2020 election results over Trump's unproven claims of widespread voter fraud and election rigging.

Those challenges culminated in a riot that overtook the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as lawmakers deliberated the certification of the 2020 election results, resulting in five deaths, including that of a U.S. Capitol Police officer.