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Tags: donald trump | mitch mcconnell | senate | gop leader | candidates | jan. 6 | steve daines

Trump: Good Choices to Follow McConnell as Senate GOP Leader

By    |   Thursday, 29 February 2024 07:32 PM EST

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday weighed in on the announcement by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that he will be stepping down as Senate minority leader, saying there are a lot of good candidates; but he declined to name any.

Trump was asked about McConnell after his speech in Eagle Pass, Texas, in which he addressed the crisis at the U.S. southern border. McConnell, 82, surprised many on Wednesday when he said he would step down after nearly 17 years as the Senate's top Republican.

"I hear he's not going to be leader, and he has taken that step. And a lot of people are calling me to politic for that particular job," said Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

Trump then turned to Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and said, "Would you like to be the leader? I might have to choose this guy."

Said Abbott: "I'd rather be governor of Texas."

Said Trump: "I think you're doing well. I want to keep you in Texas."

Trump and McConnell have had a strained relationship since McConnell blamed the former president for the events of Jan. 6, 2021. Trump called McConnell an "old, broken-down crow" at a May 2022 rally and criticized him and other Senate Republicans for helping to pass a $1.7 trillion spending bill in December 2022 before Republicans took control of the House.

But McConnell did help Trump by blocking the appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court until after the 2016 election and worked with Trump to help reshape the federal judiciary, including the appointment of three conservative Supreme Court justices.

"People were surprised by it. But it's all going to work out, and we're going to end up with a great leader," Trump said. "I can't say, but a lot of good choices."

Politico reported Thursday that Trump is encouraging Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to run to replace McConnell. Other candidates reportedly include South Dakota's John Thune, the minority whip; Texas' John Cornyn; and Wyoming's John Barrasso, chair of the Senate Republican Conference.

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Former President Donald Trump on Thursday weighed in on the announcement by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that he will be stepping down as Senate minority leader, saying there are a lot of good candidates; but he declined to name any.
donald trump, mitch mcconnell, senate, gop leader, candidates, jan. 6, steve daines
349
2024-32-29
Thursday, 29 February 2024 07:32 PM
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