Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on Fox Business Network Thursday morning to praise President Donald Trump’s performance at a Wednesday night rally in Greenville, North Carolina.
McConnell’s praise came less than 24 hours after Trump paused for roughly 13 seconds to allow his raucous crowd to chant “send her back” amid his ongoing racist attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo kicked off the interview by playing several clips from the rally — including one in which the crowd chanted “send her back.”
“Your reaction to some of the president’s commentary?” Bartiromo asked the senate majority leader.
“He’s right about ‘the squad’ wanting to turn us into a socialist country,” McConnell said, referring to the four progressive congresswomen Trump has attacked with racist rhetoric in recent days. “What he should have added, however, is that it’s a lot broader than just the four of them.”
“So I think the president’s onto something,” McConnell said about Trump’s line of attack.
Bartiromo agreed and then asked McConnell about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s accusation that the Leader is “complicit in advancing racism” because he refuses to condemn Trump’s racist remarks.
“I think it’s time to lower the rhetoric related to that subject all across America,” McConnell said. “Everyone knows that’s nonsense.”
In an apparent attempt to prove he is not a racist, the senator claimed he was “an observer” at Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and was also present at the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“Meanwhile, the media seems to be in some ways complicit,” Bartiromo said. “A CNN reporter asked you if it would be ‘racist’ to ask your wife — your wife! — Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to go back to her home country of Taiwan. What did you think of your wife being brought into this debate?”
“Well, I’m glad Elaine’s not willing to go back home,” McConnell joked.