Joe Biden Plans to Call ‘Good Friend’ Mitch McConnell After Senator’s Second Freeze

President Joe Biden hoped to speak with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday after the Kentucky Republican, 81, suddenly stopped speaking during a press conference with reporters.

During a news conference at the White House on Hurricane Idalia and the Maui wildfires, Biden, 80, called McConnell a “good friend” and planned to contact him later in the day.

“Mitch is a friend, as you know, not a joke,” the president told reporters. “We always – I know people don’t believe that’s the case – but we have disagreements politically – but he’s a good friend. And so, I’m going to try to get in touch with him later this afternoon. I don’t know enough to know.”

Mitch McConnell Suffered Previously Undisclosed Falls Prior to Freezing Incident on Camera: Report

In footage WLWT producer Hannah Thomas shared on Twitter, now known as X, McConnell was asked if he planned to run for re-election in 2026. He stopped speaking and stared forward. An aide came to his side to repeat the question. When McConnell did not reply, she said, “I’m sorry you all, we’re going to need a minute.”

“Leader McConnell felt momentarily lightheaded and paused during his press conference today,” McConnell’s spokesperson said shortly after the incident. An aide said McConnell “feels fine,” but he will be meeting a physician before his next event as a “prudential measure.”

This was the second time McConnell froze during a press conference. In July, he stopped speaking mid-sentence while taking questions from reporters in the U.S. Capitol. His colleagues surrounded him and asked if he wanted to go back to his office. McConnell then stood by while other senators took the podium.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

After the incident, a reporter asked what happened and if it was related to his fall in March, when he suffered a concussion. 

“I’m fine,” McConnell said.

The reporter then asked McConnell if he was “fully able to do your job,” to which he replied, “Yeah.”

Later that same day, McConnell told reporters that Biden called him to check in on his health. “So, the president called to check on me. I told him I got sandbagged,” McConnell joked, referring to Biden’s own fall over a sandbag after delivering a commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

President Biden Falls During U.S. Air Force Academy Commencement: ‘He’s Fine,’ Says White House

McConnell was hospitalized for five days after he fell during an event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Washington, D.C. in March. His medical team discovered a minor rib fracture and a concussion, a spokesperson said at the time. 

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden.

Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images

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In July, CNN reported that McConnell fell two other times. One fall allegedly happened in February, when McConnell joined a U.S. delegation in Finland. He also reportedly tripped and fell in July when getting off a plane at Reagan National Airport, according to CNN.

McConnell has served as the GOP’s Senate Leader since 2007 and was first elected to the Senate in 1985. His current term is slated to end in 2027. 

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