Trump's supporters boo Mitch McConnell despite his saying he'd 'absolutely' support the former president in 2024

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Thomas Colson
·2 min read
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Trump speaks at CPAC 2021
Former President Donald Trump addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday in Orlando, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • Mitch McConnell was booed during former President Donald Trump's CPAC speech on Sunday.

  • McConnell and Trump have clashed over the Capitol riot since Trump left the White House.

  • McConnell said Trump was "practically and morally responsible" for the siege.

  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's recent openness toward backing a 2024 presidential run by former President Donald Trump did not save the senator from boos during a speech by Trump on Sunday.

During Trump's speech at the influential Conservative Political Action Conference - an event to which McConnell was reportedly not invited - he took credit for McConnell's success in reclaiming his seat as a Kentucky senator last year.

"My endorsement of Mitch McConnell - at his request--" Trump said to loud boos from the audience as he went on to credit his endoresement of McConnell for the senator's reelection victory in Kentucky in November.

Trump had formed a close political alliance with McConnell, who was the Senate majority leader until January, and repeatedly endorsed him before the 2020 US election. But the pair have clashed since the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol, for which McConnell has held Trump responsible.

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McConnell in February said Trump was guilty of a "disgraceful dereliction of duty" during the siege and said there was "no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day."

"The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president," McConnell said.

Still, McConnell voted to acquit Trump of an impeachment charge of "incitement of insurrection," saying he did not believe it was constitutional to convict a former president in an impeachment trial.

His criticism prompted Trump to respond a few days later by calling McConnell an "unsmiling political hack" in a statement issued through his Save America leadership PAC.

"The Democrats and Chuck Schumer play McConnell like a fiddle - they never had it so good - and they want to keep it that way!" Trump said in the statement. "We know our America First agenda is a winner, not McConnell's Beltway First agenda or Biden's America Last."

Nevertheless, McConnell said Thursday that he would support Trump should the former president win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

"If the president was the party's nominee, would you support him?" the Fox News host Bret Baier asked him.

"The nominee of the party?" McConnell said. "Absolutely."

Read the original article on Business Insider