Mr McConnell must return to his leadership post after the 2022 election to become the longest-serving Senate leader in 2023, a goal the legacy Kentuckian would no doubt like to achieve. And there is no imminent threat to his leadership position, although one senator has privately said that a challenge could have been prompted if Mr McConnell had parted ways with the 42 other Republican senators who voted for. acquit Mr. Trump.
Mr. McConnell has been visibly silent since the attack on Mr. Trump. He made no effort to reverse his speech on Saturday or a subsequent editorial in the Wall Street Journal, but, characteristically now, he seems disinterested in further igniting the fight by hitting Mr. Trump. David Popp, a spokesperson for Mr McConnell, declined to comment on Wednesday.
His Republican allies quickly circled around him, speaking into the void of his silence.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, of West Virginia, said Mr McConnell was on “very solid ground” and came out of conversations with him confident he was walking forward with his eyes open, prepared for a former president. vindictive would attract.
“He’s not exactly a consciousness flow communicator. He is very circumspect, very disciplined in his speech, and I think his speech on the floor regarding former President Trump came straight from his heart, ”Ms. Capito said in an interview. She added: “His classic technique is to broadcast it, to say what he thinks and to keep moving forward.”
South Dakota’s Senator John Thune, his number 2 that Mr. Trump has already promised to target next year, said in a statement that Mr. McConnell had “my full support and confidence.”
Senator John Cornyn of Texas said Mr McConnell had expressed his horror at what had happened. “I think what happened on Capitol Hill that night really offended him,” Mr Cornyn said. “Obviously he said what he thought.”
Mr. Trump has also expressed his opinion. In his Tuesday flank which attacked Mr. McConnell in very personal terms despite their close collaboration over the past four years, Mr. Trump urged his party to ditch the Kentucky Republican. He also threatened to launch primaries against Republican Senate candidates who he said were not sufficiently supportive of his platform.