Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell froze again on Wednesday, this time during a briefing with reporters in Covington, Kentucky, pausing for more than 30 seconds after being asked if he would run for re-election.
The Kentucky Republican froze at a news conference on Capitol Hill in July, remaining silent for 19 seconds before being led away from the cameras. McConnell, 81, returned shortly after and continued his news conference, telling reporters, “I’m fine.”
After learning that McConnell had frozen again on Wednesday, an aide approached him and asked, “Senator, did you ask the question?” he asked. McConnell remained unresponsive.
Once McConnell was re-engaged, he briefly answered another question from Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican; His assistant should ask him the question again. McConnell was asked about former President Donald Trump, another question that bears repeating. McConnell brushed off the question, as he doesn’t usually engage in Trump-related topics.
Then he left. Reporters did not ask McConnell about the episode before his departure.
“President McConnell felt a momentary pause during his press conference today,” a McConnell spokesman said.
An aide said McConnell was “feeling good” but would see a doctor “as a prudent move” before his next event.
McConnell spoke for about 20 minutes Wednesday before a question-and-answer session with reporters.
Asked by NBC News about McConnell’s apparent shutdown on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said he had heard about it and would “try to get in touch with him later this afternoon.”
“Mitch is a friend, you know — not a joke. … I know people don’t believe this case, but we have differences politically, but he’s a good friend,” Biden said.