Speaking to reporters during a press conference on Tuesday, Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was asked if he was comfortable with the party embracing Donald Trump. The GOP leader responded by suggesting that the former president belongs to the past, not the future of the party.
Trump was at a retreat over the weekend for Senate Republicans’ campaign arm and endorsed Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) for reelection in Iowa earlier this month. But McConnell is urging his fellow Republicans to steer away from Trump’s rehash of the 2020 contest.
“Well I do think we need to be talking about the future, not the past,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday, according to The Hill.
“I think the American people are focusing on this administration … it’s my hope that 2022 election will be a referendum on the performance of the current administration, not a rehash about suggestions of what may have happened in 2020,” McConnell added.
McConnell’s comments come as Trump and some of his closest allies have continued to claim that there was widespread election fraud last year, something Republican congressional hopefuls who align themselves with the former president have also echoed.
As noted by The Hill, “McConnell dismissed those assertions in a floor speech earlier this year, saying that there wasn’t evidence of fraud “anywhere near the massive scale that would have tipped this entire election.”
Since January 6, McConnell has largely stayed away from talking about Trump, who has continued to trash talk him and called for his ouster as Senate GOP leader.