WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Top U.S. Senate Republican Mitch McConnell plans to remain in his leadership post through the 2024 elections, CNN reported on Friday, two days after the minority leader froze up for about 21 seconds while speaking to reporters.
CNN, citing a statement from the Republican leader’s office, said the statement was silent on McConnell’s plans for the next Congress, which begins in 2025. McConnell, 81, is serving a six-year term that runs through 2026.
The longest-serving Senate party leader in history began a regular scheduled press conference on Wednesday by talking about bipartisan cooperation on a massive defense funding bill only to freeze up for 21 seconds, standing still and staring straight ahead before his colleagues leaned in to ask if he was well.
“Are you OK, Mitch? Anything else you want to say or should we just go back to your office?” Senator John Barrasso asked before McConnell turned and walked away with the help of Barrasso, a physician.
McConnell rejoined the press conference about 12 minutes later, saying, “I’m fine” and answering reporters’ questions on other topics.
He batted away a question about who might succeed him in leadership.
(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; editing by Scott Malone)