Mitch McConnell deflected a question about Trump’s influence on the GOP, saying Republicans should focus on the future and not ‘rehash’ 2020

Former President Donald Trump (L), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).
Former President Donald Trump (L), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). Scott Olson/Getty Images (L), Drew Angerer/Getty Images (R)
  • McConnell deflected a question about whether he was comfortable with his party’s embrace of Trump.
  • But he said he hopes 2022 is “not a rehash of suggestions about what may have happened in 2020.”
  • Trump recently claimed that Republicans would not vote in future elections if 2020 wasn’t “solved.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday deflected a question about former President Donald Trump’s attendance at a GOP retreat last week, urging the party to focus on the future instead of the past.

Speaking alongside Republican Senate leadership following party caucus lunches, McConnell was asked by CNN’s Manu Raju if he was “comfortable” with his party’s embrace of Trump given his prior comments about the former president being “morally responsible” for the Capitol riot.

“Well I do think we need to be talking about the future, and not the past,” McConnell replied. “I think the American people are focusing on this administration, what it’s doing to the country, and it’s my hope that the ’22 election will be a referendum on the performance of the current administration, not a rehash of suggestions about what may have happened in 2020.”

McConnell’s comments come as Trump has sought in recent weeks to reassert his dominance over the GOP.

The former president claimed last week that Republicans would not vote in upcoming elections if the 2020 election wasn’t “solved.”

“It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do,” Trump said.

On October 15, Trump spoke at the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, where he again pushed false claims about the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported. Insider’s Kimberly Leonard reported from the retreat that Republicans were worried about Trump hurting the GOP’s chances of reclaiming the Senate and House by doubling down on his 2020 election loss.

And Trump apparently understands the impact that his statements are having.

“It could be a problem,” Trump told David Drucker of his fixation on the 2020 election, before insisting that it also “could be an asset.”

Trump acknowledged in that same interview that he may have contributed to the Republican Party losing two Senate seats in Georgia – and, consequently, control of the Senate.

“They didn’t want to vote, because they knew they got screwed in the presidential election,” Trump said of Georgia Republican voters, continuing to question his roughly 12,000-vote loss in the state.