McConnell keeps his distance from Trump on N.H. primary day

McConnell keeps his distance from Trump on N.H. primary day

Mitch McConnell is still keeping his distance from Donald Trump — even as New Hampshire primary voters cast ballots that could solidify his grip on the GOP nomination.

Asked about his avoidance of a Trump endorsement during his weekly briefing with reporters, McConnell said he’s “stayed out of” the presidential primary and “when I change my mind on that, I’ll let you all know.”

“I don’t have any news to make today. We’re all watching New Hampshire with great interest,” McConnell added.

McConnell is not the only member of Senate Republican leadership to sidestep a Trump endorsement thus far. Both Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) and Conference Vice Chair Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) have also stayed away.

But as Trump continues to push toward the party’s nomination — the field has narrowed to only him and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley — Senate Republicans are beginning to get off the fence and into his camp. McConnell has previously said he will support the Republican nominee, whomever that may be.

McConnell’s relationship with Trump may prove even more politically decisive over the next few weeks if the Senate manages to strike a border deal that could unlock the White House’s stalled national security emergency spending plan. Trump has indicated he’s against the still-in flux agreement, which would include aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and the border — all top priorities for McConnell.

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