Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell froze midsentence while addressing media for the second time in a month on Wednesday, appearing unable to answer questions at a press event in Covington, Kentucky.
Watch video footage of the apparent medical episode below.
U.S. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell freezes again while speaking at a press conference pic.twitter.com/NyPIWytNeJ
— BNO News (@BNONews) August 30, 2023
As reporters questioned the Republican politician in front of cameras, the 81-year-old McConnell abruptly stopped speaking and stared into space, moving his mouth and making some sound, but not expressing coherent thoughts. He froze just as he was asked about his views on running for senatorial reelection.
A member of his staff then approached the senator to ask if he heard the question, repeating it for him.
“All right, I’m sorry, you all. We’re going to need a minute,” the aide said during the 30-second interval of McConnell’s pause.
This incident follows McConnell’s episode on July 26, which involved a 40-second pause in Washington, D.C. in which he was unable to speak at a press conference. At that time, his fellow senators offered help, but he returned to the podium to continue fielding questions from reporters.
He rejoined the lectern at the conference shortly after getting escorted offstage.
“Is he OK?” one voice can be heard asking off-camera in a video posted to Twitter via BNO News.
“Are you good?” asked another.
“You OK, Mitch? Anything else you want to say or should we just go back to your office?” asked a male adviser, stepping into frame and leaning into the senator’s ear. “Do you want to say anything else to the press?”
McConnell and his team have denied that the first incident was connected to a concussion he sustained after a fall at a political fundraiser earlier this year. The Republican senator from Kentucky is the longest-serving Senate party leader of all time.
Congress is scheduled to return to session in September after a monthlong recess, with the Senate back in session Sept. 5 and the House on Sept. 12.
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