McConnell appears to freeze while speaking with reporters in Kentucky
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to freeze for about 30 seconds on Wednesday while speaking with reporters after a speech in Covington, Kentucky.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to be frozen for about 30 seconds while speaking to reporters after a speech Wednesday in Covington, Kentucky.
The incident is similar to one McConnell experienced at the U.S.
Capitol late last month and is likely to raise additional questions about his eligibility to lead the 81-year-old Senate Republican legislature.
Wednesday's incident came as a reporter asked the Republican leader if he plans to run for re-election in 2026.
McConnell had to ask him to repeat the question several times, chuckled for a moment, and then stopped, closed his mouth, and looked straight ahead.
Someone next to him asked him, \Did you hear the question, senator, are you running for re-election in 2026?\ McConnell did not respond. \I'm sorry to all of you, we're going to need a minute,\ the aide told reporters.
A member of the senator's details spoke to him quietly for a moment, and McConnell was able to whisper an answer to him.
McConnell turned to reporters, said \OK,\ and his deputy asked if he had any other questions and if reporters could \\speak.\ A spokesperson for McConnell told CNN that the Kentucky Republican \felt temporarily stunned and paused during today's press conference.\ A McConnell aide added: \While he's feeling well, as a precautionary measure, the leader will consult a doctor before his next event.\\ He then joined a fundraiser for Representative Jim Banks, who is running for a Senate seat in Indiana — a sign of how he's moving on with his program Wednesday as questions about his health remain.
McConnell, who has been the leader of the Senate Republican house since 2007, faced questions about his health throughout the year.
He was treated for a concussion and broken rib after a fall at a Washington hotel in March, and returned to the Senate a few weeks later.
In late July, McConnell froze for 30 seconds during a press conference on Capitol Hill.
At the time, his office said the Kentucky Republican was \stunned,\ and Republicans later said he was dehydrated.
Speaking to reporters after the incident, McConnell insisted he was \fine.\ McConnell and his top deputy, Senate Republican Whip John Thune, spoke Wednesday afternoon after the incident.
Thune spokesman Ryan Wrasse said, \The leader sounded like his usual self and was in a good mood.\ A source at Banks' fundraiser told CNN that McConnell was in a \great mood\ and did not mention the freezing episode.
The source said the two discussed issues related to Kentucky and Indiana.
In a social media post, Banks said they had a \wide-ranging\ discussion and attached a picture showing the two men talking.
Another source said McConnell was \highly sought-after\ and involved in Banks' debate about the Senate race.
President Joe Biden told reporters Wednesday afternoon that he planned to \get in touch\ with McConnell. \\Mitch is a friend, you know – it's not a joke, I know people don't believe that's the case.
We have disagreements politically but he's a good friend and so I'll try to get in touch with him this afternoon.
I don't know enough to know,\ Biden told reporters after remarks about the federal response to Hurricane Idalia and wildfires on Maui.