Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addresses how impeachment will play out into the election year.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had differing views on the impact of President Trump‘s impeachment acquittal on Tuesday, each claiming victory for their own party.
Democrats have suffered a series of damaging political losses over the past several weeks, McConnell said while speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill.
“I do think the Democrats had a really bad experience the last three weeks,” he said. “I think you’d have to conclude from this episode, that we won and they lost. Now that is not to say what the long-term impact will be. I think there are many things that will occur between now and the fall.”
Trump scored an all-time high approval rating — 49 percent — in last week’s Gallup poll, just as he was preparing to deliver his State of the Union address. He was acquitted by the Senate the following day.
McConnell said that, despite the party’s recent success, Republicans will still have a fight on their hands with the upcoming congressional elections, and with the race for the White House.
He added: “This is going to be a very competitive race this fall, not only for the presidency but for the Senate, as well.”
Schumer also addressed impeachment from Capitol Hill on Tuesday and said it was ultimately a good thing for the party. He claimed the impeachment proceedings have hurt Republican Senatorial candidates in the polls, and impeachment will end up benefiting Democrats.
“[Impeachment’s] been a positive for us,” he said. “Our data shows every one of the Republicans in difficult races is hurting because of it.”
The president was acquitted on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power on Thursday, with the vote falling mostly along party lines.
In the final tally, all Democrats in the Senate supported convicting the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, including swing-vote moderate Sens. Joe Manchin from West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona and Doug Jones from Alaska.
The only defection came from Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah., on the abuse of power charge.
Trump held a press conference the day after his acquittal and said he’d finally been vindicated, after tolerating years of a corrupt “witch hunt.”
“It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars,” he said. “This should never, ever happen to another president, ever. It was a disgrace.”
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.