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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCan Manchin answer his predecessor's call on voting rights? Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' Democrats' narrow chance to retain control after 2022 MORE (R-Ky.) is defending President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum 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 IngrahamMedia continues to lionize Anthony Fauci, despite his damning emails Fox Nation to stream primetime Fox News shows in full DeSantis says he'll pardon people who violate mask laws 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. 
 
 

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 McCarthyTech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — A new final frontier: Washing dirty laundry in space White House uses Trump's words praising China to slam McCarthy's Biden criticism 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.”