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Tipsheet

Mitch McConnell Stays Silent on Trump Indictment

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

After Tuesday's arraignment of former President Trump, Republicans rushed to defend him against the political persecution of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. However, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his top allies stayed silent. 

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McConnell, who reportedly hasn't spoken to Trump since December 2020, refrained from making any statement responding to Trump pleading not guilty to 34 felony counts. 

In fact, the Republican has not said anything regarding the indictment of Trump overall. 

"If we issue a statement, we will let everyone know," is all McConnell's top spokesman, David Popp, said following the arraignment. 

Instead, while the whole country was fixated on Trump's arraignment, McConnell put out a statement welcoming Finland's accession to NATO. 

Al Cross, a professor of journalism at the University of Kentucky and an avid commentator on McConnell's career, said that the Republican doesn't feel the need to comment on things as other politicians do constantly. 

"Mitch McConnell does not feel pressure in the same way that other human beings do. So he has steeled himself to resist the typical politician's urge to talk, and it's paid off for him; you don't get in trouble for something you didn't say," Cross said. "His strategy with Trump has been to not come close to that kryptonite and let other people do the talking and work behind the scenes." 

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Cross speculated that McConnell knows more than anyone else regarding the situation and therefore does not want to make premature comments. However, political analysts also pointed out that he has not spoken of Trump for almost three years, and his silence now is just a continuation of that. 

In contrast, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made his opinion of the Trump situation fully aware, accusing Bragg of interfering with the 2024 election. 

"Bragg is attempting to interfere in our democratic process by invoking federal law to bring politicized charges against President Trump, admittedly using federal funds, while at the same time arguing that the people's representatives in Congress lack jurisdiction to investigate this farce. Not so. Bragg's weaponization of the federal justice process will be held accountable by Congress," McCarthy tweeted. 

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