Sen. Mitch McConnell Abruptly Pauses During Press Conference Speech, Worrying His Republican Allies
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) only got through a few words of his speech at a press conference on Wednesday before freezing, alarming his Republican allies and raising concerns about his health.
The Senate minority leader abruptly stopped his opening remarks about the chamber’s annual defense bill and proceeded to stare straight ahead for a few seconds. He left for a brief time and then returned to answer questions.
A McConnell aide said that the senator was feeling light-headed, though it is not clear if he received any medical treatment during or after the conference.
The moment scared some of McConnell’s colleagues, who voiced their concern for the senator.
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The 81-year-old senator took a fall in March and suffered from a concussion, but returned to work in April. The GOP leader has served as the Senate minority leader since 2007 and his allies are not ready to see him step down.
“I understand he was a little lightheaded, but returned to answer questions. So I have no reason to believe he’s not doing well,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who has expressed interest in taking over McConnell’s position, told reporters. “I’m not going to head down that road. I’ll support Sen. McConnell as long as he wants to continue to serve.”
President Joe Biden even called McConnell to check up on him. The two served in the Senate together for a few years.
After returning to the press conference, McConnell took questions on topics ranging from a possible GOP impeachment of Biden to congressional spending on Hunter Biden. The Senate minority leader did not seem to falter in his answers.
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