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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has given his official endorsement of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States.

WASHINGTON - Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell formally endorsed Donald Trump for another presidential term, despite long-running enmity between the two men.

"It is abundantly clear that former President Trump has earned the requisite support of Republican voters to be our nominee for President of the United States. It should come as no surprise that as nominee, he will have my support," McConnell said in a statement provided to USA TODAY Wednesday.

McConnell touted major conservative wins he and Trump achieved during his presidency, including the 2017 tax reform bill and "a generational change of our federal judiciary," including the Supreme Court.

"I look forward to the opportunity of switching from playing defense against the terrible policies the Biden administration has pursued to a sustained offense geared towards making a real difference in improving the lives of the American people."

McConnell's low-key announcement about Trump followed a series of private talks among aides to the combative Republican leaders – and came the same day South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley ended her presidential campaign.

McConnell last month announced he would be retiring from his leadership post come November, kicking off a race to replace him.

McConnell and Trump did not speak for years after the latter lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden. The Senate GOP leader blamed Trump for the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, saying his claims of election fraud inspired mob violence. He called it a "disgraceful dereliction of duty."

Trump has accused McConnell of disloyalty and has frequently disparaged him on the campaign trail.

Democrats jumped on the opportunity to highlight the pair's longstanding friction in a statement Wednesday.

"Take it from Mitch McConnell: Donald Trump is morally and practically responsible for January 6, when he fed lies to a mob that attacked our democracy," alleged Alex Floyd, spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee. "He makes the GOP look nasty and chaotic. And his efforts to overturn the last election have totally discredited him as a candidate for president. That’s what McConnell thinks about Trump, and we couldn’t agree more."

The former president has been collecting sweeping primary wins along the campaign trail, illustrating his sustained power over the Republican Party. That has come as McConnell has increasingly appeared at odds within his own conference.

For example, earlier this year, a bipartisan group of senators negotiated a border deal at the request of Senate Republicans. Trump opposed the deal, and enough GOP senators followed suit to kill it.

McConnell took much of the blame for the package that conservatives argued didn't go far enough. McConnell also faced a leadership challenge in 2022 from hard-right Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., though a majority of Senate Republicans stood by him.




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