House Freedom Caucus mocks McConnell as ‘(D-Ukraine)’ after retirement news

The House Freedom Caucus mocked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after he announced his retirement from his leadership position Wednesday, suggesting that his stance on Ukraine aligns with his Democrat colleagues.

“Our thoughts are with our Democrat colleagues in the Senate on the retirement of their Co-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-Ukraine). No need to wait till November… Senate Republicans should IMMEDIATELY elect a *Republican* Minority Leader,” the House Freedom Caucus wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

McConnell, who turned 82 this month, announced Wednesday that he will step down from his leadership post in November. He said he plans to serve the remainder of his term, which ends in 2027.

“I’m not going anywhere any time soon. However, I will complete my job my colleagues have given me until we select a new leader in November and they take the helm next January,” he said.

McConnell has supported approving more aid for Ukraine, which marked its second anniversary of fighting Russia earlier this month. He faced a difficult challenge earlier this month after mustering up enough Republican support to back a package approving more aid to Ukraine and Israel — a measure that lacks movement in the House.

McConnell urged Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to take up the Ukraine funding bill after the upper chamber had passed the legislation in a predawn vote earlier this month.

“We’ve heard all kinds of rumors about whether the House supports Ukraine or doesn’t. It seems to me that the easy way to solve that would be to vote,” McConnell told Politico at the time. “And I hope the Speaker will find a way to allow the House to work its will on the issue of Ukraine aid and the other parts of the bill, as well.”

Far-right members of the House and the Freedom Caucus have largely grown skeptical of approving more funding for Ukraine, prompting GOP infighting over the issue.

Some Republicans seemed to celebrate the news that McConnell was retiring from the leadership position, suggesting they can vote a more conservative Republican into the position. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said “better days are ahead for the Republican Party” after McConnell’s announcement.

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, suggested that Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) should be the next leader of the Republican conference in the upper chamber. Scott had challenged McConnell for the leadership role in 2022.

“Mitch McConnell stepping down provides a great opportunity for true conservative leadership in the Senate. @SenRickScott would make a great Republican leader,” Good wrote on X.

In a statement on X, Scott said McConnell’s retirement “is an opportunity to refocus our efforts on solving the significant challenges facing our country and actually reflect the aspirations of voters.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.