Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said anyone who suggests the Constitution could be suspended “would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of the United States.”
McConnell’s comments appeared directed squarely at former President Trump, who recently called for the termination of parts of the Constitution in light of reports that executives at Twitter discussed how to handle reporting about Hunter Biden’s stolen laptop before the 2020 presidential election.
“What I’m saying is that it would be pretty hard to be sworn in to the presidency if you’re not willing to uphold the Constitution,” McConnell added when asked if he would support Trump if he were the Republican nominee for president in 2024.
McConnell’s comments came a day after many Senate Republicans condemned Trump for suggesting the Constitution should be suspended to either rerun the 2020 presidential race or declare him the winner over President Biden.
It was a second time in just over a week that McConnell has criticized Trump, who declared his candidacy for president last month.
McConnell suggested last week that Trump would have a hard time winning the GOP nomination or the presidency after hosting Ye, the artist formerly known as Ye, and Nick Fuentes, an outspoken white supremacist, at his dinner table at Mar-a-Lago before Thanksgiving.
“There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy and anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, [is] highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States,” he told reporters last week.
Other Senate Republicans slammed Trump’s call to “terminate” all “rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution” in response to a report about Twitter’s content moderation discussions during the 2020 election.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters Monday that he “couldn’t disagree more” with Trump’s statement and said it presented “a golden opportunity” for Trump’s rivals for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), a member of the Senate GOP leadership team, called Trump’s comments “ridiculous talk,” and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally, said they were “very inappropriate.”
Trump tried to downplay his earlier comments in two posts, asserting the media had twisted what he wrote.
“The Fake News is actually trying to convince the American People that I said I wanted to ‘terminate’ the Constitution. This is simply more DISINFORMATION & LIES, just like RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, and all of their other HOAXES & SCAMS,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, his social media platform.
Updated at 4:02 p.m.