Mitch McConnell declined to comment on the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago at a Tuesday press conference as conservatives increasingly call out his silence
- As many in the GOP rally around Trump following an FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, McConnell for much of Tuesday had remained quiet.
- On Tuesday, he dodged a question about the raid. "I'm here today to talk about the flood," he said.
With former President Donald Trump fuming over an FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago residence, the American people had yet to receive comment from the most powerful elected Republican in Washington: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell had yet to issue a statement on Monday's raid by Tuesday morning, and he dodged a question about it at a Tuesday press conference related to flooding in Eastern Kentucky.
"I'm here today to talk about the flood and the recovery from the flood," he said when asked for his reaction to the raid.
The Senate minority leader eventually released a statement Tuesday evening, echoing others in his party: "The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday. Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice should already have provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately."
—bryan metzger (@metzgov) August 9, 2022
The raid reportedly occurred in connection with classified documents that Trump took with him to the South Florida resort following the end of his presidency.
McConnell's silence on the issue stands in stark contrast to his counterpart in the lower chamber, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Just hours after Trump issued a statement on the raid, McCarthy promised "immediate oversight" of the Department of Justice if Republicans retake the majority following this year's midterm elections.
—Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 9, 2022
Other members of Senate Republican leadership — including Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming — have issued statements on the raid, stopping at calling it "unprecedented" while calling for further explanations.
Sens. Roy Blunt and John Thune have not issued any statements thus far, while Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, the leader of the party's campaign arm, called for Attorney General Merrick Garland to be impeached if he doesn't explain the reasoning for the raid.
—The Recount (@therecount) August 9, 2022
Unlike McCarthy, McConnell has long had a strained relationship with the former president.
According to "This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America's Future," by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, McConnell crowed that Trump was "thoroughly discredited" by the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, believing that the then-president's influence over the GOP would soon fade.
And Trump has frequently bashed McConnell since leaving office, most recently after the Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act on a party-line vote.
Other conservatives, from online conservative personalities to talk radio hosts, are taking note of McConnell's silence.
—Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 9, 2022
—Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) August 9, 2022
—Unaffiliated Voter (@WayneDupreeShow) August 9, 2022
—Alex Bruesewitz (@alexbruesewitz) August 9, 2022
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