- McConnell said he would support Trump if he were the Republican Party’s nominee in 2024.
- The comment came days after he accused Trump of being “practically and morally responsible” for the Capitol insurrection.
- “Absolutely,” McConnell said when asked if he would back Trump again if he won the GOP nomination.
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would back Donald Trump if he were the Republican Party’s nominee for president again.
He made the comment during an appearance on Fox News’ “Special Report” with Bret Baier. The Kentucky senator said he had several prospects in mind for the 2024 Republican nomination and added that he expected it to be a “wide open race and fun for you all to cover.”
“If the president was the party’s nominee, would you support him?” Baier asked.
“The nominee of the party? Absolutely,” McConnell said.
Thursday’s remarks came just days after McConnell accused the former president of “dereliction of duty” over the Capitol siege on January 6.
After voting to acquit Trump on February 13 following his Senate impeachment trial, McConnell said the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol were “fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on earth because he was angry he’d lost an election.”
“Former President Trump’s actions that preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty,” he said, adding that “Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”
McConnell explained his vote to acquit by saying that impeachment was not the right avenue to hold Trump responsible given that its punishment is removal from office, and Trump had already left office by then. He hinted, however, that Trump could face criminal prosecution for his actions.
“Impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice,” he said. “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.”
—Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 25, 2021