BY JACOB JARVIS
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has vowed to back Donald Trump if he wins the GOP’s 2024 electoral nomination, further isolating Republicans aligning against the former president.
McConnell said he would “absolutely” support the Republican nominee in 2024 when asked if he would back Trump.
This comes despite him leveling criticism at Trump over the violence of January 6, and the former president issuing a scathing assessment of McConnell’s leadership.
McConnell’s comments contrast with other Republicans who have pushed against the president. Those politicians have faced a backlash for doing so and criticism from within their own party.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has faced calls to resign from her position as House Republican conference chair, after voting to impeach the president.
Of those who went against the president, she has been one of the most prominent targets of criticism—but has stood by her position against Trump, doing so in comments made alongside House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) earlier this week.
On Wednesday, the pair were asked about Trump appearing at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this weekend.
While McCarthy said he thinks Trump should address that event, Cheney said: “I’ve been clear in my views about President Trump, and the extent to which following January 6 I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.”
An ally in this stance against Trump has been Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who has faced censures since his vote and criticism even from his own family.
After Trump was acquitted, he said he felt the former president needed to be held “accountable” following January 6.
“I am disappointed that the Senate was unwilling to hold former President Trump accountable for his actions,” he said in a statement.
“And I will be looking at alternate options to ensure responsibility and accountability so that what happened on January 6, 2021 will never happen again.”
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) also recently said he would not support Trump in future—despite his opinion that if the former president goes for the nomination he will likely secure it.
“I would not be voting for President Trump, again. I haven’t voted for him in the past,” Romney said, during the DealBook/D.C. Policy Project conference on Tuesday.
“And I would probably be getting behind someone I thought more represented the tiny wing of the Republican Party that I represent.”
Romney voted to convict Trump at both of his Senate impeachment trials, and has faced a backlash along with the other Republicans who aligned against the former president. State parties have moved to censure those lawmakers who voted to impeach or to convict Trump.
Though McConnell voted to acquit Trump at his Senate impeachment trial, he rested his decision on feeling the proceedings were unconstitutional due to the former president no longer being in office.
He leveled criticism at Trump over the violence of January 6, branding him “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the events of that day.
Following these remarks, McConnell faced harsh criticism from the former president—who branded him a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.” This assessment came in a scathing statement, in which Trump said Republicans will not win back the Senate with leaders like McConnell.
Trump has not ruled out the potential of running in 2024, though has not firmly said he will.
Speaking to Newsmax last week, Trump was asked about a future run and declared: “I won’t say yet, but we have tremendous support.”
He is due to make his first major on-stage public appearance since leaving office on January 20 at CPAC this weekend, in an event also featuring a number of speakers supportive of the former president.
Newsweek has contacted the offices of McConnell, Cheney and Romney for comment.