McConnell to Run Again for Senate Leader Despite Trump’s Attacks

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., confirmed on Tuesday that he would run for another term as head of the Senate Republican Conference, The Hill reported.

The decision comes amid a series of attacks by former President Donald Trump over McConnell’s loyalty after blaming him for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot and support for the $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) legislation.

”I’m going to be running again for leader later this year,” McConnell, who has served in the position since 2007, told reporters.

McConnell, who will be 80 on Feb. 20, announced the decision after Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., verified over the weekend that he would also seek a fourth Senate term.

Thune, 61, is also eligible to continue serving as conference whip for two more years before term limits require him to step aside. McConnell’s leadership position does not have the same limits, however.

According to The Hill, some Republicans have raised questions about whether McConnell can effectively serve as a leader while his relationship with the former president remains strained.

Last month, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said that a Republican leader in Congress needs to have ”a working relationship with Donald Trump” or ”you cannot be effective.” 

Despite Graham’s comments, Republican senators say they do not believe anyone plans to challenge McConnell for the leadership position.

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