Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to freeze up at a press conference Wednesday, following a similar incident a month ago.
The Republican politician was speaking to reporters in Covington, Ky., in his home state. Video shared on X by TV station WLWT shows him saying “What am I talking about?” before a journalist and an aide tell him, “Running for reelection.” He then went silent for about 30 seconds.
Then “he responded briefly” to another question, which was about Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, NBC News reports. The next query was about Donald Trump, and McConnell “brushed off the question,” as he usually declines to discuss Trump.
He then left the conference; he was escorted by aides, according to WLWT. He had spoken for 20 minutes before taking questions.
McConnell had a similar episode July 26 at a press conference in Washington, D.C. He was talking about the Department of Defense funding bill and said, “This week [there’s] been good bipartisan cooperation in a string of uhh,” then paused for more than 20 seconds and stared off into space.
He left but eventually returned to face reporters, at which time one asked if he was having complications from a recent fall. He said, “No, I’m fine.”
At that time, an aide to McConnell explained the incident by saying, “He felt lightheaded and stepped away for a moment. He came back to handle Q and A, which as everyone observed was sharp.”
So far, McConnell’s team has not commented on the Wednesday episode.
McConnell, 81, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984. His next race will be in 2026.