Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said this week that former President Donald Trump was the Republican Party’s nominee after a significant win over former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) in New Hampshire Tuesday. The comments came as the party appears to be consolidating around the former president ahead of the November general election.
McConnell made the comment during a session with Republican senators Wednesday. The group was discussing a possible funding package regarding Ukraine and the border. According to those at the meeting, McConnell called Trump the “nominee.”
He added that Trump sought to make the border the focal point of his 2024 campaign.
“We don’t want to do anything to undermine him,” said McConnell, though he added that Republicans were in a “quandary.”
MCCONNELL told a closed meeting of Senate Republicans Wed that the politics of the border has flipped for Rs and cast doubt on linking Ukraine and border.
“When we started this, the border united us and Ukraine divided us.”…
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 24, 2024
The endorsement came despite a testy relationship between the Kentucky senator and the former president, with each exchanging criticism.
It appears that any potential deal to provide additional aid or border funding is unlikely at this time. Trump privately expressed his opposition to such legislation.
McConnell’s comments came as a number of other Republicans have endorsed Trump over the past week. This included former GOP primary rivals Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
DeSantis made the nod after his second-place finish in the Iowa caucus, coming well behind the former president. Scott enthusiastically endorsed the former president and campaigned in New Hampshire for him. The senator’s support came despite the fact that he and Haley are from the same state.
Furthermore, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) also announced his support for the former president.
So far, Haley has not made any announcement about leaving the race. During her comments after the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, Haley said that she would stay in the race.
Trump and Haley will next face off in the South Carolina primary, where current polls show Trump with a substantial lead. Trump currently leads in every national poll and boosted his numbers after DeSantis left the race and endorsed him.