Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) joked Wednesday evening that he got “sandbagged” when he froze for an extended period of time while delivering remarks to open a press conference earlier in the day.
McConnell told reporters that President Biden called to check in on him after the episode.
“The president called to check on me. I told him I got sandbagged,” McConnell said, referring to Biden’s trip and fall over a sandbag at the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement last month.
Reporters asked the GOP leader how he was feeling, whether he knew what happened or planned to see a doctor. He responded multiple times by saying, “I’m fine.”
“Gotta watch those sandbags,” he added while on the way to the Senate floor.
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McConnell, 81, stepped aside during the press conference after members of his leadership team asked if he was all right and had anything else to say.
He eventually returned to the mics to answer questions from reporters, telling them at the moment that he was “fine” and proceeded as he does during most other press conferences. A McConnell spokesperson said after the episode that he was lightheaded.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) reportedly said that he and McConnell had their standing 3 p.m. ET meeting shortly afterward and that the Kentucky Republican appeared fine. He added that he is not concerned for the leader’s health.
“There was no concerns about his health in that meeting,” McCarthy said.
Mychael Schnell contributed.