- The Republican Senate fundraising group gave former President Donald Trump a "Champion for Freedom Award" a day before he blasted top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, as a "son of a b----" and "stone-cold loser."
- Trump for months has raged against McConnell, who as majority leader refused to endorse Trump's efforts to block the confirmation of his rival Joe Biden as president.
- Trump has falsely claimed he won the election, and blamed widespread ballot fraud for his electoral loss.
The leading Republican Senate fundraising group handed former President Donald Trump its inaugural "Champion for Freedom Award" — just a day before he blasted top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell as a "son of a b----" and a "stone-cold loser."
The National Republican Senatorial Committee award also came after Trump threatened to endorse Republican challengers to GOP incumbents in Congress, and after his lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to three top Republican committees, including the NRSC, telling them to stop using his name for fundraising without his permission.
NRSC chairman Sen. Rick Scott of Florida handed the small silver award to Trump — who was dressed as if he just walked off the golf course — on Friday at the ex-president's club in Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate minority leader, would likely resume his former role as majority leader if the NRSC and other groups manage to help elect enough Republicans during the 2022 midterms to overcome the Senate's current 50-50 split between the parties. Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote in the Senate gives Democrats majority control in the upper chamber of Congress.
Trump has falsely claimed since November that he won the election, and that only widespread ballot fraud made it seem that Biden had won.
A day after getting his award, Trump reportedly lashed out at McConnell as the former president was speaking to a group of Republican donors at Mar-a-Lago. Trump claimed that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., would have overturned the election results if a Democratic candidate stood to gain.
"If that were Schumer instead of this dumb son of a b--- Mitch McConnell, they would never allow it to happen," Trump told the crowd at the event, which was held by the Republican National Committee. "They would have fought it."
A source told NBC News that Trump griped that "a real leader" never would have accepted the Electoral College results showing he lost.
Trump also went after McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, who resigned as Trump's Transportation secretary a day after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, where supporters of the then-president rampaged through the halls of Congress, disrupting proceedings that were confirming Biden's victory.
"I hired his wife," Trump griped. "Did he ever say thank you?"
"She suffered so greatly," Trump said sarcastically.
McConnell did not respond Monday while walking by an NBC News reporter who asked him if he had any response to Trump's tart comments on him.
McConnell has blamed Trump for inciting the riot, but he voted against convicting the former president at his Senate impeachment trial in February.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee said Monday that its Champion of Freedom award is "presented to conservative leaders who have worked tirelessly to create good jobs, protect the values that make our country great, and stop the Democrats' socialist agenda."
"As president, Donald Trump delivered for the American people by appointing three pro-Constitution judges to the Supreme Court, cutting taxes for middle-class families and job creators, and securing the border," the NRSC said in a statement.
On Sunday, the second ranking Republican in the party's leadership in the Senate, Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, did not criticize Trump for his attack on McConnell.
Thune, when asked on "Fox News Sunday" about Trump's scathing remarks, said he believes "a lot of that rhetoric is part of the style and tone that comes with the former president."
"But I think he and Mitch McConnell have a common goal," said Thune.
"And that is getting the majority back in 2022, and hopefully in the end that will be the thing that unites us."