MSNBC analyst downplays McConnell's praise for Biden: 'He's kowtowing to Donald Trump a lot'
Mitch McConnell (Saul Loeb:AFP)

MSNBC's Claire McCaskill pushed back against praise for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for publicly backing President Joe Biden's handling of the Ukraine situation.

The Kentucky Republican said the president was "moving in the right direction" in his approach toward Russian aggression, but McCaskill disagreed with "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough's assessment that McConnell was "striking a more positive tone."

"I've got to say, though, I'm going to gently push back a little," McCaskill said. "I think all it would take for the Republican Party to get back to its roots would be for Mitch McConnell and, really, just a handful of others -- you have [Rep.] Liz Cheney doing the right thing. You have Mitch McConnell when he's asked point blank, he says things like that."

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"But he could have gotten that [Jan. 6] commission through if he wanted to," she continued. "He has that kind of power in his caucus. He is trying to play both sides of this. He is most interested in getting power, period, and to get power he needs the win midterm elections, and to win midterm elections he's got to kowtow to Donald Trump, and he's kowtowing to Donald Trump a lot. Yes, he said the right thing, so did Lindsey Graham the day of, so did many others. So did Kevin McCarthy said the right thing. As time went on, they have a gravitational pull to Mar-A-Lago. They are now all still genuflecting [to] a president who thought lying was part of his job description."

"I can't give Mitch McConnell too much credit," she concluded. "Could it be worse, what he's saying? Of course, it could be, but it sure could be a hell of a lot better."

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