- Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated he would nonetheless assist Trump in 2024.
- Axios’ Jonathan Swan requested why, on condition that McConnell referred to as Trump “morally responsible” for January 6.
- McConnell responded: “I think I have an obligation to support the nominee of my party.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated he would again Trump if the previous president had been to win the 2024 GOP presidential nomination as a result of he has an “obligation” to assist the social gathering’s nominee.
McConnell outlined his stance on Trump’s candidacy in an interview with Axios journalist Jonathan Swan this week.
“Help me understand this. I watched your speech last year in February on the Senate floor after the second impeachment vote for Donald Trump. And it was an extraordinary speech,” Swan stated, referring to a February 13, 2021, speech from McConnell.
“You spoke very powerfully against the most powerful figure in the party, the president. And you said Donald Trump’s actions preceding the January 6 insurrection were a — quote — disgraceful dereliction of duty and that he was practically morally responsible, your words, for provoking the events of that day,” Swan added. “How do you go from saying that to two weeks later saying you’d absolutely support Donald Trump if he’s the Republican nominee in 2024?”
McConnell responded that because the Senate GOP chief it shouldn’t be “a front-page headline” that he would assist the Republican nominee.
“I think I have an obligation to support the nominee of my party,” McConnell stated. “That will mean that whoever the nominee is has gone out and earned the nomination.”
“It’s not at all inconsistent. I stand by everything I said about January 6 and everything on February 13,” McConnell added.
“I don’t get to pick the Republican nominee for president. They’re elected by the Republican voters all over the country,” he stated.
Swan stated Rep. Liz Cheney appeared to carry an identical view to McConnell on Trump’s accountability for the January 6 riot however famous that, in contrast to McConnell, Cheney thought there have been “some things more important than party loyalty.”
“I’m actually trying to understand. Is there any threshold for you?” Swan pressed.
“You know, I say many things I’m sure people don’t understand,” stated McConnell.
McConnell saying that he would again Trump if the previous president had been to develop into the GOP’s 2024 nominee comes after months of the latter berating, criticizing, and mocking him.
In November, Trump hit out at McConnell a number of instances. That month, the previous president slammed McConnell for backing President Joe Biden’s infrastructure invoice, calling him a “RINOs,” an acronym for Republican In Name Only. He additionally gave McConnell the moniker “Old Crow,” and accused him of “jeopardizing” different Republican senators’ reelection possibilities.
And in February, Trump stated McConnell didn’t communicate for the Republican Party or the “vast majority of its voters.” That month, Trump additionally requested Sen. Rick Scott to problem McConnell for Senate GOP chief, including to the long-standing rift between the 2. This was after McConnell seemingly shrugged off rumors that Trump might try and oust him as majority chief if the GOP had been to take the Senate within the midterms.
McConnell has additionally publicly damaged with Trump. In February, he stated he wouldn’t be in favor of shortening any of the January 6 rioters’ sentences after Trump floated the potential for pardoning the Capitol rioters at a rally. The New York Times additionally reported in February that McConnell was quietly working behind the scenes to attempt to make sure “goofballs” backed by Trump didn’t win their Senate primaries.