McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellS.E. Cupp: 'The politicization of science and health safety has inarguably cost lives' Poll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  Business groups urge lawmakers to stick with bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.) is defending President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE amid bipartisan backlash over the president's suggestion that he would accept information about a political opponent from a foreign government, breaking with some of his own Republican Conference members. 
 
Asked about Trump's comments during a Fox News interview, which aired on Thursday night, McConnell aimed his criticism at Democrats, saying "they just can't let it go." 
 
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"I said weeks ago 'case closed'. We got the Mueller report, the only objective evaluation that will be conducted. … The case is closed; why don't we move on and solve the border crisis and approve the president's USMCA, the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada? We have work to do," McConnell said. 
 
Pressed by host Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamBiden pokes at Fox hosts: They've had 'altar call' on vaccines Fox News airs PSA telling viewers 'get the vaccine' White House has reached out to Fox, other networks on vaccines MORE on if he thought Trump gave the wrong answer when he told ABC News that he was open to looking at information on an opponent from a foreign government, McConnell sidestepped. 
 
"He gets picked at every day over every aspect of it. But the fundamental point is they're trying to keep the 2016 election alive and the investigation alive, when the American people have heard enough," he said, returning his focus to congressional Democrats. 
 
McConnell, who is running for reelection in a red state next year, added that he "would ask the Democrats in the House this: Is there anything you're willing to do other than harass the president for the next two years?" 
 
McConnell's defense of Trump comes after the president sparked widespread backlash, including from members of his own party, when he told ABC News that he was open to accepting information from a foreign government. 
 
“I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening,” Trump said earlier this week. “It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go, maybe, to the FBI.”
 
Trump's remarks are a contrast to advice from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who has said that a politician offered dirt on a rival candidate from a foreign source should tell the FBI. Trump, asked about Wray's comment, said "the FBI director is wrong." 
 
Trump's comments sparked unease among several Senate Republicans, ranging from Trump allies to the party's 2020 candidates. 
 
 
Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTransit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal Schumer leaves door open for second vote on bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor MORE (R-Utah), the party's 2012 nominee who has had high-profile clashes with Trump, called accepting information from a foreign government that was trying to meddle in an election "unthinkable." 

Asked what the president should do if a foreign government offers opposition research on an opponent, Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerEx-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Biden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms MORE (Colo.), one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection next year, shot back: "Just say no."

But McConnell's defense of Trump is in line with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyDemocrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe, eyeing new GOP reinforcements GOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Meghan McCain on Pelosi, McCarthy fight: 'I think they're all bad' MORE (R-Calif.), who defended the president during a press conference on Thursday.

"I’ve watched this president. I’ve listened to this president. He does not want foreign governments interfering in our election. He’s been very strong about that,” McCarthy said. “He’s been so strong against Russia.”