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Trump wishes McConnell well after senator’s fall at DC hotel

By Sarah May
|
March 10, 2023

Despite his ongoing feud with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), former President Donald Trump attempted to take the high road on Thursday by offering well wishes to the lawmaker following a nasty fall that landed him in the hospital, as the Washington Examiner reports.

McConnell's accident occurred Wednesday evening after a dinner event hosted by the Senate Leadership Fund at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in the nation's capital, as NBC News noted.

“I want him to be well”

The former president's comments on McConnell's hospitalization came during a call with reporters regarding the release of his new book, Letters to Trump, according to the Daily Mail.

When first asked for his thoughts on the situation, Trump disclaimed much knowledge of the matter, saying, “No, I don't know about it. I heard about it from a number of people, but I don't know. I don't know the seriousness of it all.”

Subsequently, however, Trump delivered a gracious take on McConnell's predicament, saying, “I disagree with almost everything he does, but I certainly would like him to get well. I want him to be well. I want him to be well. And then get back and be strong.”

“It sounds like he took quite a fall...and I hope he's going to be fine. I hope he's going to get better quickly. I wish him well,” the former commander in chief added, giving no hint of the rancorous public battles in which he and McConnell have engaged in the past.

Ongoing war of words

The tension between Trump and McConnell in recent years has been no secret, with the onetime allies developing a deep rift in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, as the Examiner noted.

In the wake of Trump's second impeachment acquittal, McConnell declared, “There's no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for providing the events of [Jan. 6, 2021]. No question about it,” as NBC News noted at the time.

Those comments prompted Trump to dub McConnell a “dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” who “doesn't have what it takes,” and he added that “[t]he Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm.”

Late last year, Trump teed up another dig at McConnell after allowing passage of the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill before the majority in the House of Representatives changed hands, saying, “If the Old Crow waited just 10 days,” Republicans in the lower house could have made critical changes. “Just another win for the Democrats, Mitch, that wouldn't have happened if Trump were president!” he said, according to the New York Post.

Details of incident slow to emerge

The trouble for McConnell, 81, unfolded Wednesday evening, after the aforementioned dinner event, with the GOP leader being swiftly transported to the hospital for treatment, as NBC News noted.

A spokesperson with the Washington Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department revealed early on Thursday that an “adult male” had been taken from the Waldorf Astoria at 9:17 p.m. Wednesday evening, but that “notes did not indicate patient condition.”

It took some time for details about McConnell's status to emerge, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) taking to the upper chamber's floor to express his hopes for a speedy recovery and to “offer a prayer of strength and healing for the leader and his family,” but noting that he had only spoken to staffers and not the minority leader himself.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) added to the air of uncertainty surrounding McConnell's condition, saying on Thursday, “No, we haven't heard anything. Nobody's passed anything down the line to any of us. We haven't heard.”

Concussion diagnosis revealed

As the Associated Press reported, it was ultimately revealed that McConnell was diagnosed as having sustained a concussion in the fall and is expected to stay in the hospital for what his spokesman, David Popp, described as “a few days.”

Popp further noted that McConnell “is grateful to the medical professionals for their care and to his colleagues for their warm wishes" but did not offer additional details about his condition or likely recovery process.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a concussion is defined as a traumatic brain injury capable of impacting brain function, and while the effects tend to be temporary in nature, they can include concentration problems, memory loss, headaches, and coordination concerns.

Treatment for concussions can include hospitalization for observation and monitoring purposes to ensure that symptoms do not worsen, and complications do not arise, and as McConnell navigates the path to recovery, he appears to have the good wishes of folks on both sides of the aisle – even those with whom he has exchanged the harshest words.