Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is warning that the GOP needs to be more careful about Trump in the 2018 midterm elections.
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” McConnell also expressed concern about the effects of the president’s controversial travel ban, saying it will be an obstacle to the party’s success in the 2020 midterm elections if Democrats can’t keep Trump at bay.
“The real question is whether the president will continue to be a distraction,” McConnell said.
“If he continues to be that way, then it will create problems for the party going forward.”
The Republican leader also warned that Trump will be “in trouble” if the GOP’s midterm success continues to hinge on the party controlling the White House and the Senate.
“If we don’t get control of the Senate, if we don�t keep him at bay, then that�s the real test,” McConnell told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“I think the real challenge is whether or not the party has the discipline, the discipline to actually be the majority in the House.”
The president has vowed to make the GOP “the party of Lincoln” and has been a vocal critic of McConnell’s leadership, saying he needs to “take it down” in order to win control of both chambers of Congress.
He has also been critical of McConnell, who has said that he was not responsible for the travel ban and has called the Republican leader�s leadership “the biggest problem in Washington right now.”
McConnell also said that the Senate GOP will have to “look in the mirror” to find a way to unite behind Trump after his election win.
“There are so many things that we have to work through, and there�s just no going back to the past,” he said.
McConnell told ABC that the midterm election will be the “real test” for Trump and that Republicans need to take it “seriously.”
“If you want to see your party survive in the long term, then you need to understand that this is the time of the year when we need to focus on the challenges of the midterm, not just the midterm,” he told Stephanopoulos in the interview.