August 31, 2023: On Wednesday, Mitch McConnell appears to freeze again while talking to reporters.
When asked at an event in Covington, Kentucky, McConnell, aged 81, initially seemed to work to hear about his views on running for reelection.
But the senator froze at the podium and did not speak for about 30 seconds.
“All right, I’m sorry, you all. We’ll need a minute,” the aide said during that interval.
McConnell then appeared to signal he was ready to receive another question. He was asked about Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is running for governor.
After his aide loudly repeated the question into his ear, McConnell said, “I think the governor’s race is going to be very close,” with his voice lowering in volume as he finished his reply.
He brushed off a final question about former President Donald Trump’s latest indictment in Georgia before being led away from the pulpit.
McConnell suffered a similar episode on July 26 in Washington, D.C., where he froze and was briefly unable to speak at a press conference.
In that case, McConnell’s fellow senators rushed in to help him, and after a few minutes, he returned to the podium and continued speaking to reporters.
At the time, McConnell dismissed questions about whether the health scare was connected to a concussion he suffered earlier this year when he fell at a political fundraiser.
Spokesmen for McConnell did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the latest incident.
Fresh questions about McConnell’s health arise at an especially fraught moment for Republicans in Congress, who hold a narrow majority in the House and 49 seats in the Senate, one shy of a majority.
On Tuesday, Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced that he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. The Louisiana lawmaker called the disease “very treatable” and promised to return to Washington, though he did not say precisely when.