McConnell prepping GOP senators to split from Trump: report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 WATCH: The Hill recaps the top stories of the week Effort to overhaul archaic election law wins new momentum MORE (R-Ky.) is advising vulnerable Republican senators to break with Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case 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 ClintonNo Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way The dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat 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.