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McConnell Says Trump Has Earned GOP Nomination

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally in Cincinnati Ahead Of Ohio PrimaryDonald Trump Holds Campaign Rally in Cincinnati Ahead Of Ohio Primary
Donald TrumpPhotograph by John Sommers II Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that while presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is “a phenomenon” and political outsider, he has earned the right to the GOP nomination and the party’s support.

“I think Donald Trump is a phenomenon. I don’t believe Donald Trump is going to change the Republican Party in a fundamental way. He appeals to a lot of voters, he’ll be the nominee. I don’t have any problem supporting him,” McConnell said.

McConnell says he does not think Trump is changing the Republican Party “in a fundamental way,” but instead is helping us reach out to voters who “have not lately voted for Republicans.” That will make the party competitive in November against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, McConnell said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“The voters this year were looking for something very different, particularly the right-of-center voters,” McConnell said. “You can argue the left-of-center is expressing itself the same way.”

The Senate Republican leader declined to answer whether he thought House Speaker Paul Ryan should issue a formal endorsement of Trump.

“My view is that Trump has earned the nomination because he went out and got the most votes” in the primary and caucus process, McConnell said. “We need to be respectful of the process.”