McConnell Approves Kemp’s Senate Pick That Goes Against Trump’s Wishes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) answers questions during a press conference following a weekly policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol on December 3, 2019. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
December 3, 2019 4:54 p.m.

President Trump won’t be pleased with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s response to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appointing businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

According to a Politico report Tuesday afternoon, McConnell said that Loeffler will have the full support of the Republican establishment, despite Trump’s preference for Kemp to choose staunch presidential ally Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). Kemp’s formal announcement of Loeffler’s appointment is expected at a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

McConnell added that Loeffler would be treated as an incumbent and that the National Republican Senatorial Committee and sitting senators will “all be behind her.”

“It seems to me like the governor of Georgia made a terrific appointment,” McConnell said, according to Politico. “She will be an incumbent Republican senator. We will all be behind her. Sen. [Todd] Young has already made it clear the NRSC is going to be behind her. I’m going to be behind her, and I’m confident that someone we’re working with every day will enjoy total support from the Republican conference.”

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McConnell’s remarks came a few hours after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that Kemp announced “the funeral time and location for his political career” by appointing Loeffler instead of Collins for Georgia’s soon-to-be vacant Senate seat. Gaetz’s Tuesday tweet piggybacked off of his threat to Kemp last Friday with a primary challenger in 2022 if he did not select Trump’s preferred candidate, even though Gaetz represents a completely different state.

Read Politico’s report here.

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