Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his top aides were silent on Tuesday (April 4) as former President Trump Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts, highlighting how far McConnell and his aides have drifted from their one-time ally.
Trump has been blamed by many Republican senators for the GOP’s loss of the Senate majority during the November midterms.
Many also doubt if Trump is capable of winning re-election in 2024, especially if he were to face charges from the Department of Justice and the Fulton County District Attorney as they investigate him for his role in January 6 insurrection and attempts to overturn the 2020 election, respectively.
The charges Trump faces in the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels is also adding to the political baggage Trump is experiencing.
McConnell, who has raised his doubts about Trump’s political viability and hasn’t spoken to Trump since December 2020, sought to ignore the former President’s Tuesday arrest, choosing not to make a statement about the headline-grabbing occurrence.
The Kentucky Republican did the same on Thursday (March 31) when news of Trump’s indictment broke.
Instead, McConnell only issued a statement welcoming Finland’s accession to NATO, which he has been advocating since last year.
According to Al Cross, a journalism professor at the University of Kentucky and a veteran commentator on McConnell’s career explains, the Kentucky Republican didn’t feel the same pressure other Republicans did to rally behind Trump, suggesting McConnell has resisted getting involved in typical political commentary.
Cross also suggested McConnell wasn’t getting involved as there could be more indictments.