Mitch McConnell Suddenly Stops Talking During Speech, Escorted Off Podium

Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell /

On Wednesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke to assorted press members from a podium. Halfway through his speech, McConnell came to a screeching halt and fell silent. What started as a pause was drawn out into an uncomfortable, extended silence before the senators around him leaned in to whisper in his ear then gently escorted him off the podium.

It was very bizarre. No explanation was given as to what happened.

Whatever it was it didn't affect McConnell for very long. A little more than five minutes afterwards he came back to the podium to answer questions from media.

A very strange series of events. McConnell is 81 years-old and all of us have seen folks of that age lose their train of thought in the middle of speaking but one would hope a sitting US Senator would be capable of not having that happen.

Perhaps Republican leadership will release a statement with an explanation. Perhaps not. Not a great sign either way.

UPDATE: A McConnell aide told CNN's Manu Raju that McConnell felt "light-headed," and that's why he stepped off the podium.