McConnell prepping GOP senators to split from Trump: report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture MORE (R-Ky.) is advising vulnerable Republican senators to break with Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report 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 ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights 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.