As rumors continue to swirl about the possibility of a handful of Republican senators considering a break from President Donald Trump by voting to convict him if the House-led impeachment reaches a Senate trial, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tamed the rumors on Thursday, saying he doesn’t believe anyone on his side will defect.
According to The Hill, McConnell was confident when Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked if he believed any Republican senators would turn on the president and vote alongside Democrats in their effort to impeach and remove the president from office.
“I doubt it. There’s zero chance the president… would be removed from office, and I’m hoping we’ll have no defections at all,” McConnell explained.
Doubling down on his prediction that Senate Democrats won’t be able to convince any of their Republican colleagues to vote against the president, McConnell suggested that the Republicans might even pick up several Democrats who are willing to vote with them for an acquittal.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if we got one or two Democrats. It looks to me over in the House, the Republicans seem to be solid and the Democrats seem to be divided,” McConnell said to Hannity.
As The Hill reported, two of those Democratic defectors could include Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Doug Jones. Both represent either red states or districts where Trump won during the 2016 election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Further strengthening the claim is what Manchin said during a recent CNN interview about his thoughts on voting to impeach the president.
“I’m very much torn on it,” Manchin said. “I think it weighs on everybody.”
McConnell’s prediction came on the same day that former Massachusetts governor and current 2020 Republican presidential challenger Bill Weld floated the possibility of up to six Republican senators who are privately considering going against the president and the White House in a Senate trial, as reported by The Inquisitr.
During an interview with The Hill, Weld claimed that because of his close relationships with many senators, he was aware of a small list who are considering defection.
“I wouldn’t want to get quoted,” Weld said. “I don’t even like to ask someone to do something which is not in their political self-interest. But yeah, I would say they’re four to six votes for removal right now.”
For a successful conviction of the president, a two-thirds majority vote would need to take place, which is 67 total senators. Republicans currently control the chamber with 53 seats, so it would require an unprecedented number of Republican defectors for Democrats to have Trump impeached and removed.