Donald Trump has thanked the Republican Party’s leader in the US Senate Mitch McConnell for the key role he played in the former president’s acquittal in his second impeachment trial.
Following the 57-43 vote to find Trump guilty of inciting the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol – the Senate required a two-thirds majority to convict – the former president said he wanted to pay particular tribute to Senator McConnell.
“I gotta hand it to Mitch. The guy’s a genius,” Mr Trump said.
“He’s spent weeks getting stuck into me after the so-called Capitol ‘riot’, as the fake news media described it.
“Mitch gave every indication he thought I was guilty as hell of inciting the visits made by many, many voters to their Congressional representatives at the Capitol on 6 January.
“That’s really all they were doing. Just trying to drop by and see their local congressional representatives. It wasn’t my fault that they were a bit over-enthusiastic.
“But Mitch’s public statement gave everyone the impression he was against me on this issue that the Democrats have blown out of all proportion. I mean only five people died. Only five.
“But when the final vote came Mitch voted to acquit me on the grounds I’m no longer president and couldn’t be impeached.
“So Mitch has the best of both worlds. People will think he did the right thing no matter whose side they are on.
“That takes real balls, and in Mitch’s case that’s difficult because I still have his balls in my possession, quite literally (main picture).
“Mitch has been just brilliant. He deserves my thanks and I may well be putting him on my ticket as my vice-presidential candidate in 2024.
“It’ll be either Mitch or that guy with the buffalo horn helmet and fur,” Mr Trump said.