FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 file photo, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., stand with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., as Trump speaks while departing after a Senate Republican Policy luncheon, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican Party still belongs to Donald Trump. The GOP privately flirted with purging the norm-shattering former president after he incited a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last month. But in the end, only seven of 50 Senate Republicans voted to convict Trump in his historic second impeachment trial on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
(AP) — Former President Donald Trump is stepping up a political war within the Republican Party that could undermine the GOP’s ability to fight President Joe Biden’s agenda and ultimately return the party to power. Trump on Wednesday repeated the baseless claims that he was the rightful winner of the November election. The night before, Trump vowed to support primary challengers against those Republicans deemed insufficiently loyal. He also described Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as “a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack.” Leading GOP strategists say the exploding feud is a distraction at best and, at worst, a direct threat to a political comeback.
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