US Senate's McConnell freezes up for second time in public appearance


Top US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell froze up for more than 30 seconds on Wednesday during a public appearance before he was escorted away, the second such incident in little more than a month.

A clip from an NBC News affiliate showed McConnell, 81, responding to questions from reporters after an event with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in Covington when he froze up, staring into space and not responding to reporters and others nearby.

The incident raised fresh questions among Republican and Democratic members of Congress about some of their ageing colleagues.

After being approached by a second person, McConnell resumed speaking but needed reporters' questions repeated to him and only answered two more questions. The longest-serving Senate party leader in history, McConnell's voice was shaky and quiet.

He said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, was "far and away the best candidate" for governor, and declined to say whether he would support former President Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president before walking away with a staffer.

A McConnell aide said the senator would be consulting with a physician prior to his next public event. The Senate is due to reconvene on Tuesday after a five-week-long summer recess.

"Leader McConnell felt momentarily lightheaded and paused during his press conference today," McConnell's spokesperson said.

The incident was similar to one that took place in the US Capitol on July 26, when McConnell froze in the middle of a press conference and had to be led away, returning several minutes later to finish taking questions.

After that incident, a McConnell aide said the senator had felt light-headed. Two days later, a spokesperson said that McConnell planned to remain in his leadership post through the 2024 election.

McConnell froze on Wednesday after being asked whether he intended to run again in 2026, when his six-year term is up.

More from International

  • Global outcry after 45 people killed in Rafah fire

    An Israeli airstrike triggered a fire that killed 45 people in a tent camp in the Gazan city of Rafah prompting an outcry from global leaders who urged the implementation of a World Court order to halt Israel's assault.

  • North Korea says latest satellite launch exploded in flight

    North Korea said its attempt to launch a new military reconnaissance satellite ended in failure on Monday when a newly developed rocket engine exploded in flight.

  • Over 2,000 could be buried in Papua New Guinea landslide, authorities say

    More than 2,000 people could be buried alive by a massive landslide in Papua New Guinea last week, the government said on Monday, as treacherous terrain and the difficulty of getting aid to the site raises the risk few survivors will be found.

  • At least 18 killed in US storms

    Powerful storms killed at least 18 people, injured hundreds and left a wide trail of destruction across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas after obliterating homes and destroying a truck stop where dozens sought shelter in a restroom during the latest deadly weather to strike the central US.

  • Cyclone Remal leaves millions without electricity

    Strong winds and heavy rain pounded the coastal regions of Bangladesh and India as severe cyclone Remal made landfall on Sunday, leaving millions without electricity after power poles fell and trees were uprooted by gusty winds.

Coming Up on Dubai Eye

  • The Agenda

    10:00am - 1:00pm

    Broadcasting every weekday, Georgia Tolley goes beyond the headlines to speak to government ministers, decision makers, analysts and local experts to find out how the news will impact those of us living in the UAE.

  • Entertainment Extra

    1:00pm - 2:00pm


On Dubai Eye

  • Flying Taxis

    It sounds like an episode of The Jetsons, but the sight of flying taxis whizzing around our cities could be much closer than you think.

  • Tough penalties for deliberate tax evasion

    The UAE has said that tougher penalties will come into force from 1st August for not keeping proper corporate tax records.