McConnell ‘surprised’ Senate Republicans with retirement announcement timing

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) decision to step down may have been months in the making, but the news took a number of his Republican members by surprise. 

McConnell, the longest-serving Senate leader of all time, announced on Wednesday that this Congress would be his last as head of the GOP conference. The outgoing leader faced nearly a year of speculation about his plans beyond the 118th Congress, the result of his sour relationship with former President Donald Trump and a pair of highly publicized medical episodes that prompted concerns about his health.

Despite the questions about his ability to stay on as leader after 17 years in the top job, some GOP senators told the Washington Examiner that they were not expecting the news they received on Wednesday.

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