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GOP senator dismisses Trump-McConnell feud

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph Thune'The era of bipartisanship is over': Senate hits rough patch Bipartisan talks sow division among Democrats Senate passes long-delayed China bill MORE (S.D.), the Senate's No. 2 Republican, refused to directly respond to former President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE's attack against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMaher goes after Manchin: 'Most powerful Republican in the Senate' Supreme Court confounding its partisan critics Why the Democrats need Joe Manchin 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 SchumerIt's not just Manchin: No electoral mandate stalls Democrats' leftist agenda DOJ to probe Trump-era subpoenas of lawmaker records Democrats demand Barr, Sessions testify on Apple data subpoenas 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.