Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday told Axios he will support former President Donald Trump if Trump is the 2024 GOP presidential nominee.
McConnell's statement repeated what he said early in 2021, two weeks after he blamed the former president for inciting the Capitol demonstrators on Jan. 6.
"As the Republican leader in the Senate, it should not be a front-page headline that I will support the Republican nominee for president," McConnell told Axios' Jonathan Swan. "I think I have an obligation to support the nominee of my party, and I will … that will mean, whoever the nominee is, has gone out and earned the nomination."
McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor on Feb. 13, 2021, said Trump's actions preceding the Capitol attack were a "disgraceful dereliction of duty" and there is "no question, none," that he "is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day."
Two weeks later, McConnell told Fox News said he'd "absolutely" back Trump if the GOP nominates him, Axios said.
Swan on Thursday pressed McConnell about how he could condemn Trump's actions surrounding Jan. 6 and still support him if he's the GOP nominee.
"Not at all inconsistent," McConnell said. "I stand by everything I said on Jan. 6 and everything I said on Feb. 13."
McConnell has been nicknamed "The Old Crow" by Trump and became a frequent Trump target since congratulating President Joe Biden on his 2020 election victory.
In February, Trump responded to comments made by McConnell that it was ''not the job'' of the Republican National Committee to censure GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
"For the Old Crow Mitch McConnell to say that the RNC should not censure walking Democrat sound bites, Liz Cheney and Cryin' Adam Kinzinger, is so against what Republicans are about," Trump said in a statement.
"It's not as bad as the two-month extension he gave the Democrats when they were ready to fold, but the censure of Cheney and Kinzinger is a good and very appropriate thing to do as it pertains to our great Republican Party!"
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