Trump criticizes GOP senators, McConnell on bipartisan infrastructure deal

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate Democrat introduces bill to protect journalists from government surveillance Trump lawyer says New York DA considering charges related to employee perks Trump lashes out at NY prosecutors as his lawyers argue against criminal charges MORE on Tuesday chastised Republican senators for engaging with President BidenJoe BidenSenate Democrat introduces bill to protect journalists from government surveillance Biden touts bipartisan infrastructure deal in op-ed Death toll in Miami condo collapse climbs to 11 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 GrahamTim Scott launches reelection bid This week: Democrats move forward with Jan. 6 probe Green groups shift energy to reconciliation package 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 McConnellBiden, Pelosi on collision course Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — NASA head doesn't think humans ‘alone' in universe Trump blasts McConnell over claims in book about election 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 BarrSenate Democrat introduces bill to protect journalists from government surveillance Overnight Defense: Biden launches strikes on Iran-backed militias in Iraq, Syria | Book says Trump shouted at Milley over protest response | Questions remain on Afghan evacuations Trump blasts McConnell over claims in book about election 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

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