By Mike Murphy
Despite saying Donald Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the deadly Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol even if he found himself unable to vote for conviction in Trump’s second impeachment trial, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Thursday that he would “absolutely” support Trump if he’s the Republican nominee in 2024.
Last week, Trump blasted McConnell , the long-serving Kentucky Republican, as “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” for failing to support him vigorously enough. But McConnell did not hesitate when asked during a Fox News interview Thursday whether he’d support the former president if Trump wins the nomination.
“The nominee of the party? Absolutely!” McConnell said.
McConnell added, “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. … Should be a wide-open race.”
He stressed that his focus is on the 2022 midterm elections. “Let’s focus on winning the House and the Senate in ’22,” McConnell said, saying that would give the future presidential nominee of his party, “whoever that may be, the best chance to be victorious.”
McConnell voted against convicting Trump during impeachment proceedings earlier this month but put the blame directly at Trump’s feet in a speech after the vote, which acquitted Trump, even as seven Republicans joined all Democratic and independent senators in finding Trump guilty of inciting insurrection.
“Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty,” McConnell said at the time .
Trump is still wildly popular among Republicans, and is scheduled to speak Sunday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida, where he is expected to remind Republicans that he’s “still in charge” of the party .