Trump says there are ‘a lot of good choices’ to replace McConnell as Senate GOP leader

Trump says there are ‘a lot of good choices’ to replace McConnell as Senate GOP leader

Former President Trump said there are “a lot of good choices” to replace Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as the GOP Senate leader, but he declined to say whom he preferred.

“I hear he’s not going to be leader, and he’s taken that step and a lot of people are calling me to politic for that particular job,” Trump said after remarks from the southern border.

“People were surprised by it, but it’s all going to work out, and we’re going to end up with a great leader,” he added in his first remarks addressing McConnell’s decision to step down as leader in November.

Asked whom he’d like to see replace McConnell, Trump demurred.

“Well, I can’t say that. A lot of good choices,” he added.

Politico reported Trump has privately encouraged Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who is in charge of the Senate GOP campaign arm, to run to replace McConnell.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.), former Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn (Texas) and Senate Republican Conference Chair John Barrasso (Wyo.) are all expected to vie for the top job.

Trump notably did not attack McConnell, whom he has been relentlessly critical of since leaving the White House. Trump has in the past blasted McConnell as an “old crow” and blamed him for allowing Democratic legislation to pass the chamber, while attacking his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, in racist terms.

Aides for Trump and McConnell are working behind the scenes to pave the way for McConnell to endorse Trump in November’s presidential contest.

McConnell surpassed late Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) in January 2023 as the longest-serving Senate party leader in history.

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