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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFury over Trump Syria decision grows Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe Trump: Let Assad, Russia or China protect the Kurds MORE (R-Ky.) is defending President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report 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." 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"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 IngrahamMeet Trump's most trusted pollsters Who is Kurt Volker and why is he important? Putin says he doesn't share 'excitement' about Greta Thunberg's UN speech 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 Romney10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable Cindy McCain condemns video of fake Trump shooting political opponents, late husband GOP braces for impeachment brawl 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 Scott GardnerGOP braces for impeachment brawl Republicans wrestle with impeachment strategy McConnell tightlipped as impeachment furor grows 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 Owen McCarthy10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable Furious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Five ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble 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.”