McConnell prepping GOP senators to split from Trump: report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Mueller report is a deterrent to government service Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Anti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age MORE (R-Ky.) is advising vulnerable Republican senators to break with Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone 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 Diane Rodham ClintonIt is wrong to say 'no collusion' 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era And the winner of the Robert Mueller Sweepstakes is — Vladimir Putin 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.