McConnell Endorses Trump As Final Act

As one of his final acts as the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell officially endorsed Donald Trump for president on Wednesday.

The pair haven’t spoken in more than three years, since McConnell blamed Trump for the attack on the U.S. Capitol that happened on January 6 of 2021. Despite that, the outgoing GOP Senate leader still placed his support behind the presumptive GOP nominee for president.

As he said in a statement on Wednesday:

“It is abundantly clear that former President Trump has earned the requisite support of Republican voters to be our nominee for President of the United States. It should come as no surprise that as nominee, he will have my support.”

Trump had a banner day on Super Tuesday, winning 14 out of the 15 states that held a primary election — many of which he won by huge margins. Following that performance, his only remaining challenger in the race, Nikki Haley, announced that she was suspending her campaign.

McConnell’s official endorsement announcement was released only a few minutes after Haley officially announced that she would be suspending her campaign, in fact.

A source told CNN that the endorsement comes after months of discussions between Trump campaign official Chris LaCivita and Josh Holmes, one of McConnell’s confidants. The two sides spoke about how the two camps could open the lines of communication and get on the same page about the upcoming races in the U.S. Senate.

And while those talks obviously resulted in some progress, the source said that McConnell didn’t speak directly to Trump before issuing his endorsement. Instead, Holmes spoke with LaCivita about it.

Two of the most likely candidates to replace McConnell as the leader of the GOP in the Senate — John Thune and John Cornyn — each already endorsed Trump for president.

Thune in particular, though, has said he has some concerns about how Trump might fare in the general election in suburban regions. That being said, he told CNN this week that he thinks the GOP ticket is set to deliver a message to voters that will be united.

As he said:

“I think we got to, got to have a united ticket going into the fall, and we’ll all go out and all help aggressively win those people in suburban areas, independent voters. It’s now a — it’s a straight up one-on-one.”

Late last month, McConnell announced during a floor speech that he would be stepping down from his leadership role in the Senate come November. While he’ll continue to serve in the Senate, stepping aside from leadership will allow “the next generation of leadership” to have control of the GOP Conference, he said.

As he said in his remarks:

“As I have been thinking about when I would deliver some news to the Senate, I always imagined a moment when I had total clarity and peace about the sunset of my work. A moment when I am certain I have helped preserve the ideals I so strongly believe. That day arrived today.”