Updated Jul 26, 2023, 2:56pm EDT
politicsNorth America

Mitch McConnell freezes at press conference, unable to speak

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a press conference July 19, 2023.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell abruptly froze while giving remarks at a press conference Wednesday and had to be escorted away.

For about 20 seconds, McConnell, 81, appeared unable to speak. Other senators approached him, and one walked away with him.

He returned to the podium moments later and said, ”I’m fine,” when asked about what happened earlier. He continued to take questions from reporters.

An aide told CNN that McConnell “felt light headed and stepped away for a moment.” The aide added that McConnell returned to “handle Q and A, which as everyone observed was sharp.”

At the end of the press conference, the senator chuckled and walked away when asked about whether he had anyone in mind to replace him as Senate minority leader.

McConnell suffered a concussion in March after tripping at a dinner. He returned to the Capitol almost six weeks later after being treated at a rehabilitation facility and recovering at home.