Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who paused during a news conference on Wednesday and suffered a concussion after falling earlier this year, has fallen twice more this year, according to multiple sources. According to three sources familiar with the situation, the first known meeting took place in Finland in February, when McConnell and a US delegation met with the Finnish president in Helsinki.
As he exited his vehicle on a snowy day and walked towards his meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, the GOP leader stumbled and fell, according to previously unreported sources. He picked himself up off the ground and resumed the meeting. This incident in Finland occurred just days prior to McConnell’s March fall at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Washington, where he struck his head and suffered a concussion and fractured ribs, keeping him out of the Senate for nearly six weeks.
And just this month, at Reagan National Airport in Washington, McConnell stumbled and fell while exiting the aircraft, according to a source with knowledge of the incident. He later returned to the Capitol on the same day. Earlier on Wednesday, NBC reported on the accident at the airport. The office of Senator McConnell refused to comment on the incidents.
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McConnell, 81, was a childhood polio survivor and has walked with a minor impediment for many years. He takes the stairs one at a time and occasionally leans on an aide to help him navigate the Capitol. His falls have occasionally resulted in severe injuries, such as in 2019, when he fractured his shoulder after falling at his residence in Louisville.
Since his accident at the Waldorf Astoria this year, however, his health has received more attention. McConnell stopped while speaking to reporters at his weekly news conference on Wednesday, prompting concerned Republican senators to escort him to the side. He resumed the news conference and took questions later. McConnell has declined to explain why he stopped, but an aide stated that he was feeling dizzy. McConnell responded, “I’m fine,” when queried by reporters about the incident.
It was the second time in as many months that an unusual incident occurred at McConnell’s weekly news conference. The second incident occurred in June when he had difficulty hearing reporters’ queries that were audible to senators sitting next to him. McConnell, who broke the record for longest-serving Senate party leader in history this year, is up for reelection in 2026, but he has not yet decided whether he will run again or attempt to remain as the Republican Party’s leader in the upcoming Congress, which begins in 2025.McConnell told CNN in October that he would certainly conclude his term in the seat he has held since 1985. McConnell stated categorically that he would serve out the remainder of the tenure to which he had been elected by the people of Kentucky.
In May, however, after suffering a concussion, McConnell refused to answer whether he intended to remain in his seat or run for leadership. When asked at the time if he would complete his term or run for office again, he responded, “I thought this wasn’t an interview about my future.” “I thought it was an interview about the 2024 Senate elections.”