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McConnell Badgered By Reporter For Refusing to Endorse Trump

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A reporter pressed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday about his refusal to publicly support former President Donald Trump following his impressive victory in the Michigan primary.

The reporter asked why the Kentucky Republican was “holding out” when it seemed obvious already that Trump will be the party’s nominee.

During a press conference, a reporter asked McConnell, “Over the weekend, Senator [John] Thune came out and he endorsed Trump. The other lieutenants have endorsed Trump. Why are you holding out in endorsing the likely nominee?”

“I don’t have any announcement about that today,” McConnell said before quickly moving on to the next question.

The Hill reported on Monday that unnamed sources “familiar with the situation” said that Trump’s campaign was in discussions with McConnell’s team regarding a potential endorsement. Also, Trump himself suggested that the GOP Senate leader “wants to endorse me.”

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“That’s what I hear,” said Trump. “I don’t know if he’s going to endorse me. I just heard he wants to endorse me.”

Earlier this month, Ted Cruz took the highly unusual step of using a public forum on Tuesday to call for his Senate leader to step aside after he and other GOP leaders initially agreed to a “bipartisan” border bill that still allowed millions of migrants into the country illegally each year.

During a press conference, the Texas Republican was asked if he believes it is time for McConnell (R-Ky.) to step down after the deal collapsed amid pressure from conservatives and GOP constituents who complained that the bill did more to secure Ukraine and other foreign nations than it did the U.S. border.

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“I think it is,” Cruz responded as he pointed out that all the GOP senators standing with him wanted McConnell to step aside. “I think a Republican leader should actually lead this conference and should advance the priorities of Republicans.”

Cruz was joined by Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ron Johnson (R-WI), JD Vance (R-OH), Roger Marshall (R-KN) and Eric Schmitt (R-MO).

Later, McConnell was asked to respond to Cruz’s comments, to which he said: “I think we can all agree that Sen. Cruz is not a fan.”

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Earlier in the day, some Republican senators were overheard engaging in loud conversations behind closed doors as they debated legislation that would provide some funding for the border but much more in aid to countries like Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Fox News Capitol Hill reporter Aishah Hasnie told the network program “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday morning that even one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, is now likely to vote against it because of its highly controversial provisions such as continuing to allow thousands of illegal migrants into the country daily before President Joe Biden would be compelled to shut the border down.

Here’s what Hasnie told Fox News:

While the past 24 hours have been nothing short of stunning here, we knew that this border deal was dead on arrival in the House, but it’s not likely to make it out of the Senate at all. Republicans are poised to take a procedural vote on this tomorrow, and it’s likely at the author of this big bipartisan deal. The Republican author is likely to vote no on it as well, as well as a Senate majority leader or minority leader.

Senate Republicans met last night at a closed-door meeting, which got so heated, Dana, at times, that myself and other reporters could actually hear screaming coming from inside the room. When leader Mitch McConnell emerged from the room, he told me that he had a great discussion and that the conference will keep on talking.

The border bill died in the Senate after House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) declared it “dead on arrival” in his chamber.

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