Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would “absolutely” support former President Donald Trump should he win the Republican nomination for president in 2024.
McConnell made the statement on Fox News Thursday. He added that “there’s a lot to happen between now and ’24.”
"I've got at least four members that I think are planning on running for president, plus some governors and others,” McConnell said. “There's no incumbent, a wide-open race, and should be fun for you all to cover."
McConnell’s comments come weeks after a series of critical speeches from the Senate floor aimed at Trump and his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
“They (rioted) because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth because he was angry he lost an election,” McConnell said on Feb. 13 following Trump’s acquittal in his most recent impeachment trial. “Former President Trump’s actions preceded the riot for a disgraceful dereliction of duty.”
“There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.”
Despite his comments, McConnell notably voted not to convict Trump on one count of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol.
McConnell’s comments prompted an angry response from Trump.
“The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm,” Trump said in response.
McConnell was also critical of Trump’s continued push to overturn the results of the election in a Jan. 6 speech delivered on the Senate floor — moments before rioters cleared the chamber.
“Over and over, the courts rejected these claims — including all-star judges whom the President himself nominated," he said. "...we cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids. The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken."