US Senate’s McConnell freezes up for second time in public appearance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell froze up for more than 30 seconds on Wednesday during a public appearance before he was escorted away, the second such incident in a little more than a month, a clip from an NBC News affiliate showed.

McConnell, 81, was responding to questions from reporters after an event with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in Covington when he froze up, staring into space and not responding to reporters and others nearby.

After being approached by a second person, McConnell began talking again but needed reporters’ questions repeated to him by an aide and a gave minimal answer in response.

Representatives for McConnell were not immediately available for comment.

The incident was eerily similar to one that took place in the Senate at the end of July, when McConnell also froze in the middle of a press conference and had to be led away, returning several minutes later to finish taking questions.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Richard Cowan in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone, Caitlin Webber and Susan Heavey)

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