Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that Donald Trump might have a “hard time” becoming president again if he believes that parts of the U.S. Constitution should be voided over false claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
But the Kentucky Republican dodged a follow-up question about whether he would rule out supporting Trump in 2024.
“Anyone seeking the presidency saying, essentially, the Constitution should somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in,” McConnell said at a weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill.
McConnell, who pointedly avoids weighing in on any news involving the former president, didn’t directly criticize Trump or mention him by name. His latest comments were little more than a political prediction regarding Trump’s prospects for another term in the White House ― similar to the way he responded to the former president’s recent dinner with a white nationalist.
Over the weekend, Trump suggested a redo of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday because of newly released messages that show Twitter staffers discussing stories about now-President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social.
Trump’s comments drew sharp criticism from some GOP lawmakers, even though none went so far as to rule out supporting his 2024 presidential bid in the future. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) called the remarks “irresponsible,” while Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said his party should “choose if they’re for the circus clown or if they’re for the Constitution.”
Some of Trump’s biggest allies expressed mild disagreement without directly critiquing the former president. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said there are “no exceptions” to the Constitution, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said the Constitution is “enduring and it will be for millennia to come.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is seeking to become speaker next month, also dodged a CNN reporter’s question about Trump’s comments earlier on Tuesday.
“I fully support the constitution,” McCarthy told CNN.