McConnell prepping GOP senators to split from Trump: report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Healthcare: Trump threatens to leave ObamaCare in place if GOP bill fails Senate GOP hedges on ObamaCare repeal timeline MORE (R-Ky.) is advising vulnerable Republican senators to break with Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMulvaney: Let states figure out 'essential health benefits' How President Trump can restore sanity to America's labor laws Planned Parenthood head to Ivanka Trump: 'Stand for women’ MORE if he wins the GOP nomination, according to a bombshell New York Times report Saturday.

McConnell has reportedly advised Republicans that they can run ads against Trump to create separation from the polarizing GOP frontrunner if they believe it can help their reelection efforts.

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The majority leader is also preparing to pitch the Senate as a necessary check to an inevitable Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonMnuchin: Trump has 'perfect genes' Live coverage: Trump, GOP scramble for ObamaCare votes RNC paid little-known firm for reports on Clinton: report MORE presidency if Trump is the GOP's nominee, according to the Times.

Republicans risk losing their 54-46 Senate majority with several vulnerable incumbents up for re-election this year. Republican analysts and pollsters have predicted dire consequences for Republican legislators if Trump wins the GOP nomination, stifling their re-election chances.

Republican senators including McConnell have lashed out privately against 2016 candidate John Kasich's continued presence, arguing his "intransigence" is blocking Republicans from uniting behind an anti-Trump,” according to the Times.

Trump has won three of the four first presidential primaries and leads in most states voting on Super Tuesday, which could virtually cement his lead.