McConnell says he has ‘nothing to add’ when asked about cause of freeze episodes

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday, in his first news conference since a second freezing episode last week, said he had "nothing to add" when reporters questioned him about what caused the episodes and whether he should be more transparent.

McConnell, 81, addressed a pack of reporters after a closed-door policy lunch with the Senate Republican Conference.

"Respectfully, can you tell us what has been afflicting you and describe, characterize, what is the level of transparency that the people of Kentucky deserve to hear about your condition?" one reporter asked.

MORE: McConnell, after freeze, alludes to 'attention' paid to incident

The senator began to point to the statements from Capitol physician Brian P. Monahan, who said he found no evidence of a stroke or seizure disorder, but was then interrupted by the reporter.

"We'd like to hear from you," the reporter said.

"I know. You are hearing from me," McConnell responded. "I think Dr. Monahan covered the subject. Absolutely. You've had a chance to read it. I don't have anything to add to it. And I think it should answer any reasonable questions."

Mitch McConnell, flanked by other Senate Republican leaders, speaks during a press conference after a Senate Republican Conference policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol, Sept. 6, 2023.Francis Chung/politico/AP

Monahan has made two statements related to McConnell's health. The first, released last week, said the senator was medically clear to continue his work schedule after he froze for more than 30 seconds during a press conference in Kentucky.

Doctors tell ABC News that anyone who experiences similar symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

A second, more comprehensive, statement released Tuesday said Monahan examined McConnell himself and found "no evidence" of a seizure disorder, stroke or a movement disorder such as Parkinson's disease.

Monahan also said he had no recommended changes to McConnell's "treatment protocol" as he continues to recover from a fall in March in which he suffered a concussion and a fractured rib.

The statement, however, did not come to a conclusion as to what caused the episodes.

McConnell was pressed on that point by reporters Wednesday, but continued to state he had "nothing to add" to Monahan's statements.

"I think he pretty well covered the subject," he said.

MORE: Most Senate Republicans say they stand by McConnell's fitness to serve

Asked if he had any plans to retire, McConnell said he "had no announcements to make on that subject."

"I'm going to finish my term as leader and I'm going to finish my Senate term," McConnell said.


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