How McConnell is trying to front-run Trump ahead of 2024


As former President Donald Trump prepared his third straight campaign for the White House, Mitch McConnell’s mind was elsewhere.

The Senate GOP leader quietly flew to West Virginia in mid-October to begin wooing Gov. Jim Justice to challenge incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in 2024, according to a person familiar with the previously unreported trip. The upside to McConnell’s visit was simple: Courting Justice early would limit the risk if the former president backs another Manchin challenger and wins the party’s presidential nomination.

Someone like Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus who got Trump face time in Florida last week.