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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell

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The Republican civil war just heated up again. Donald Trump launched another attack in the ongoing GOP civil war, bashing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for not bailing out the campaign of one of Trump’s picks this cycle, Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters. Masters has been struggling for funding for weeks, with McConnell trying to get the people who forced this dud of a candidate on him (namely billionaire Peter Thiel) to pick up the tab.

Trump is raging against McConnell, again, about not bankrolling his guy in Arizona, but instead boosting the campaign of incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska. She’s facing a Trump-backed Republican—Kelly Tshibaka—a result of the ranked-choice balloting the state adopted. “The Old Broken Crow, Mitchell McConnell, is authorizing $9 Million Dollars to be spent in order to beat a great Republican, Kelly, instead of $9 Million Dollars that could be used for Blake Masters, and other Republicans, that with this money would beat their Democrat opponent,” Trump fumed in a statement.

Meanwhile, The Washington Postreported Tuesday that “Trump’s political operation has spent more money since he left office on lawyers representing the former president and a pair of nonprofits staffed by former Cabinet members than it has on Republican congressional campaigns, according to a review of financial filings.”

Trump isn’t just skimping on funding Republican campaigns, he’s siphoning off the money to pay for his own legal defense and maybe pay for the ongoing silence of people like former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who probably knows where lots of skeletons (or purloined classified documents) are buried. Save America, Trump’s leadership PAC, has spent about $8.4 million on Republican campaigns. It’s spent $7 million on Trump’s lawyers and $2 million on the nonprofits.

The single biggest check cut by Save America in the last 20 months, the Post found, was for $3 million to the Florida law firm representing Trump in the document-theft investigation. Lawyer Christopher Kise had been paying attention to Trump and his propensity to not pay people who work for him and demanded that he be paid up front. Between May and June, Save America’s pay-outs to lawyers exploded, nearly tripling.

Trump is sucking up huge amounts of money, and the guy in charge of Republican Senate fundraising, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, is squandering the rest on a digital fundraising scheme that seems to mostly be grift. McConnell has had to step into the breach to fund campaigns through his own leadership PAC.

For McConnell’s pains, he’s undergoing truly vicious attacks from Trump, with Scott taking Trump’s side. And he has to face the possibility that a possible Republican Senate majority will have all these Trump picks who will go into office already at war with him.

While it might be satisfying to watch McConnell get what he so richly deserves and have to deal with a MAGA rebellion against him in his own conference, that would be way too dangerous to the nation.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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