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‘I’m not going anywhere’: Mitch McConnell rejects claims he will be stepping down as Senate leader

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‘I’m not going anywhere’: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rejects claims he will retire despite frequent attacks from Trump and Kentucky power play over succession

  • ‘I don’t think we’re going to have a vacancy,’ McConnell added 
  • The 79-year-old was reelected in November
  • He has served since 1985
  • Backed effort in Kentucky to ensure his temporary successor is Republican
  • State lawmakers overrode veto of Democratic governor
  • Trump called him a ‘dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack’
  • McConnell said Trump ‘provoked’ the Capitol riot 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to down rumors he was planning an exit after a Republican power play in his home state of Kentucky that ensures he will be succeeded by a Republican if he leaves before his term ends.

‘I don’t think we’re going to have a vacancy. I’m not going anywhere,’ McConnell said Tuesday.

He spoke after the GOP-controlled legislature voted Monday to override the veto of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear after he tried to kill legislation that would require him to fill any temporary vacancy in a Senate seat with a member of the party holding the seat.  

‘I’m not going anywhere’: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he has no plans to retire, despite backing a state legislative effort that will ensure his temporary successor is a Republican should he leave office early or otherwise vacate his seat

McConnell, 79, was reelected in November, and has served in the Senate since 1985. 

After denouncing President Trump for having ‘provoked’ the January 6th Capitol riot, McConnell has reemerged as the most powerful force countering the Biden agenda in the Senate.

He has threatened ‘scorched earth’ tactics should Democrats use their narrow majority to force through changes to the legislative filibuster. 

‘I just got elected to a six-year term. And I’m still the leader of my party in the Senate,’ he told reporters in Kentucky. 

Former President Donald Trump (R) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had a powerful partnership when Trump was in office, but split after the Jan. 6 riot following Trump's effort to overturn the election

Former President Donald Trump (R) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had a powerful partnership when Trump was in office, but split after the Jan. 6 riot following Trump’s effort to overturn the election

McConnell said Trump 'provoked' the Capitol riot. He was instrumental in confirming Trump's Supreme Court nominees and moving his agenda while Trump was in office

McConnell said Trump ‘provoked’ the Capitol riot. He was instrumental in confirming Trump’s Supreme Court nominees and moving his agenda while Trump was in office

McConnell spoke to reporters in Kentucky Tuesday

McConnell spoke to reporters in Kentucky Tuesday 

The bill in question requires the governor to select people to temporarily fill any vacancy from the executive committee of the state party controlling the seat – essentially giving McConnell the power to name at least his temporary successor in advance. 

Amid the appearance McConnell was pulling the strings, Republican bill sponsor Robert Stivers said this month that McConnell “is not sick” and isn’t leaving, the Hill reported. 

McConnell statements come after Trump blasted him in a written statement in February that highlighted the schism within the party.

‘Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again,’ Trump said in a statement issued by his PAC. 

McConnell, whose Senate leadership office is steps from where MAGA rioters ran wild, had said Trump was ‘practically and morally responsible’ for the riot. McConnell also defended House GOP Conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney, who to impeach Trump, although his maneuverings helped ensure Trump’s historic second impeachment took place after he had left office.

Since Trump left office, top House Republican leaders have made the trip to Mar-a-Lago, and Trump has repeatedly asserted himself as a force in the party. 

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