Colleagues were forced to whisk Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) away from a podium on Wednesday after the Senate Minority Leader seemingly froze mid-sentence while talking to reporters.
The unsettling sight was captured on camera as McConnell held his weekly news conference. Footage showed McConnell, 81, staring silently forward for about 2src seconds before the nearby Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and others escorted him away from cameras.
Prior to freezing up, McConnell had spoken for 15 seconds about bipartisan support for an annual defense policy bill. As the senator froze, the faces of the Republicans around him showed their confusion.
As the silence carried on, Barrasso, a former physician, approached McConnell on his right and whispered, “You OK, Mitch?” McConnell didn’t respond.
Barrasso continued, “Is there anything else you want to say to the press?” McConnell didn’t respond again, but this time opted to leave the podium.
An aide for McConnell later told NBC the senator “felt light headed and stepped away for a moment.” The aide added that McConnell returned later to finish speaking with reporters and was “sharp.”
In that follow-up session, McConnell was asked about his health and he reportedly said he was “fine.” He also answered “yeah” when asked if he’s fully able to do his job.