McConnell Wryly Calls Bannon a ‘Genius’

Senator Mitch McConnell took a sarcastic shot on Friday at Stephen K. Bannon, telling reporters at an end-of-the-year news conference that Mr. Bannon’s “political genius” had cost the party a Senate seat in Alabama.

.. Complicating their charged relationship is the question of whose side Mr. Trump will take. Mr. McConnell expressed confidence that the president would back the candidates he picks, saying, “I believe the White House will be in the same place I am.”

.. Mr. McConnell still has painful memories of the 2010 and 2012 election cycles, in which Republicans nominated Tea Party candidates who could not appeal to a general election audience.

.. The bad blood between Mr. McConnell and Mr. Bannon is no secret — they have been publicly feuding for months. In November, Mr. Bannon vowed to oust Mr. McConnell as majority leader, saying in an interview, “I have an objective that Mitch McConnell will not be majority leader,” adding that Mr. McConnell “has got to go.”