Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hates the Tea Party, that much is clear.

He hates Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.

He also hates the Senate Conservatives Fund.

And he hates those conservatives trying to unseat him in his Kentucky home district.

More broadly, he hates anyone and everyone who supported defunding Obamacare.

It’s tempting to infer that McConnell just hates conservatives in general, although that may not be entirely accurate.

Still, it would be an easy conclusion, based on McConnell’s past public statements, and especially based on his conversation on an Oct. 30 conference call, during which he apparently said the Tea Party is “nothing but a bunch of bullies,” then added, “You know how you deal with schoolyard bullies? You punch them in the nose, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Since McConnell and his staff have refused to release a transcript of the call, there are conflicting accounts whether McConnell was actually referring to the Tea Party, the Senate Conservatives Fund or conservatives in general.

What’s been verified by the Washington Examiner, despite McConnell’s staff’s flat denial, are the statements about bullies and wanting to punch conservatives in the nose.

All of which is somewhat puzzling because McConnell is a leader in the Republican Party, the allegedly conservative political party.