The animosity between Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Donald Trump was forced out into the open earlier this month as the Senate Republican leader declared the former president responsible for the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, with Trump responding by denigrating McConnell as a “political hack.” But it looks like McConnell, for his part, has put the bad blood behind him.
According to NBC News, McConnell pledged Thursday that if Trump is chosen by the GOP as its nominee for the White House in 2024, he will “absolutely” support the former president.
It’s a decision from the minority leader that likely comes as a shock to those on both sides of the political aisle who saw tensions flare in recent weeks.
The unexpected admission from McConnell came during an appearance on Fox News with host Bret Baier.
“Well, there’s a lot to happen between now and ’24,” McConnell said, according to NBC News. “I’ve got at least four members that I think are planning to run for president, plus some governors and others. There’s no incumbent, should be a wide-open race, and fun for you all to cover.”
Baier then pressed: “If the president [Trump] was the party’s nominee, would you support him?”
“Uh, the nominee of the party? Absolutely,” McConnell replied. Take a look:
Mitch McConnell says he would “absolutely” support Donald Trump in 2024 if he won the party’s nomination. pic.twitter.com/9wZvMH5ZlY
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 25, 2021
McConnell touts GOP wins
McConnell also told Fox’s Baier on Thursday that, despite losing the White House and despite the appearance of in-fighting among the GOP, “the Republican Party is actually in very good shape.”
“We gained seats in the House. We elected 50 Republican senators when everybody was predicting we were going to lose the Senate. The Democrats didn’t flip a single state legislature. We flipped two [and] picked up a governor,” McConnell explained, as Fox reported.
“The Republican Party had a very good day on Nov. 3,” he added. “We’re sorry we lost the White House, but the Republican Party demonstrated once again [that] this is a 50/50 nation, we are very competitive, and will be competitive again in ’22.”
If the GOP can turn out big wins in next year’s midterms, that “will set up the next nominee for president, whoever that may be, [with] the best chance to be victorious,” McConnell said Thursday, according to Fox.