RNC chair Ronna McDaniel on Sunday denied that the GOP is in danger of losing the Senate, despite President Trump reportedly telling donors this week that it would be “tough” for Republicans to hold onto the Senate after next month’s election.
According to the Washington Post, Trump told Republican donors in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday — before his final presidential debate against Democratic rival Joe Biden that night — that it would be “tough” for the GOP to hold on to the Senate because he cannot support some of the party’s senators.
“I think the Senate is tough actually,” Trump said, according to the Post, amid sinking poll numbers. “The Senate is very tough. There are a couple senators I can’t really get involved in. I just can’t do it. You lose your soul if you do. I can’t help some of them. I don’t want to help some of them.”
When asked about Trump’s reported remarks and how seven incumbent GOP senators are in “toss up” races — which include Sens. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Joni Ernst (R-IA), David Perdue (R-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Steve Daines (R-MT), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — during an interview on Fox News Sunday, McDaniel insisted that the GOP will hold the Senate in a “tight race.”
“This is a tight race, we know this, but the trend lines are good in these states,” McDaniel said. “You’re seeing McSally gain momentum. You also didn’t mention candidates like John James and Jason Lewis who are competitive races against Democrat incumbents.”
After saying that the GOP will keep the Senate, McDaniel was pressed on several Republican senators up for re-election distancing themselves from Trump this week.
Earlier this week, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said he is “not apologetic for having fought for my values in places where I think (Trump’s) are deficient, not just for a Republican but for an American.” McSally was asked about whether she is proud of her support for the President, a question she dodged twice by replying that she is “proud to be fighting for Arizona every single day” and “sending legislation on President Trump’s desk.”
McDaniel denied that GOP senators are distancing themselves from Trump, and that Sasse is “an exception obviously.”
McDaniel was then pressed about McSally dodging twice on whether she is proud to support Trump. The RNC chair said that the Arizona senator is “going to rallies with him and she’s all over the state with him,” which she argued demonstrates that McSally supports the President.
Watch McDaniel’s remarks below:
Trump campaign senior adviser Corey Lewandowski made similar remarks during an interview on MSNBC on Sunday, in which he denied that President thinks that Republicans have a better chance at winning the House than they do at holding the Senate.
“You know, I don’t think so,” Lewandowski said. “Look, this president’s been out aggressively campaigning for members of the U.S. Senate. He’s asked his surrogates, including me, to go out and help.”
Lewandowski pointed to his visit to Arizona on Thursday to help raise money for McSally and argued that the President has “been very forward in helping U.S. Senate candidates around the country be successful.”
“He’s helped raise money. He’s got a great partnership with Senate leader Mitch McConnell,” Lewandowski said. “They’ve raised money together, and we feel very, very strongly that we’re going to retain our majority in the U.S. Senate.”