WASHINGTON − Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., affirmed Wednesday afternoon that he has no plans to step down amid continued questions about his health following two freezing episodes this summer.
"I'm going to finish my term as leader and I'm going to finish my Senate term," McConnell said during a weekly presser.
The Kentucky lawmaker froze when talking to reporters last week in Kentucky after he was asked about running for reelection in 2026. He appeared to begin to answer, but stopped and remained silent for 7 seconds.
The episode in Kentucky was the second time in recent months McConnell froze in front of cameras, previously going silent during a news conference at the Capitol where he abruptly stopped speaking for 28 seconds behind a lectern and was escorted away.
Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of the U.S. Congress, said in a letter addressed to McConnell Tuesday that there is "no evidence" McConnell has a movement disorder or had a transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini stroke. Monahan also wrote that McConnell does not have a seizure disorder and did not have a stroke during the incidents.
"I think Dr. Monahan covered the subject, fully," McConnell said when pressed about his health Wednesday. "You've had a chance to read it. I don't have anything to add to it. I think it should answer any reasonable question."
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The minority leader dodged several questions about his health and continued to reference the letter from Monahan. When asked if he plans to retire or step down, McConnell told reporters he has "no announcements to make on that subject."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, following the Senate GOP’s weekly luncheon that McConnell “addressed his recent health episode and gave a detailed report of his doctor’s evaluation.”
“Mitch was strong and clear, and I am confident in his ability to lead our conference. He has my full support,” Graham said, echoing the majority of the GOP conference’s sentiments, rallying behind McConnell amid his health concerns.
GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama echoed a similar sentiment, telling reporters after the luncheon that McConnell satisfied his concerns.
"He explained what happened and how he feels now," Tuberville said. "He would do the right thing if he felt like he couldn't. It's getting ready to be a very tough election year and any leader has got to be out there going, raising money, doing all that. He convinced me."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mitch McConnell says he will finish term amid questions over health