First Look

Is Trump qualified to be president? Mitch McConnell won't say.

The Senate majority leader said that the presumptive GOP nominee needs to catch up with Hillary Clinton on fundraising.

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    Majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (2nd from l.), accompanied by, (From l.) Sen. John Barrasso, (R) of Wyoming, Sen. John Thune, (R) of South Dakota, and Senate majority whip John Cornyn of Texas, listen to a question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, following their policy luncheon.
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Is Donald Trump qualified to be president? 

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell refused to answer that question Sunday in an interview on ABC's "This Week," saying, "I'll leave that to the American people to decide." 

The Republican from Kentucky did, however, suggest that the Republican platform would not reflect some of the presumptive GOP nominee's signature ideas, such as his proposal to restrict Muslim immigration to the United States.

"It's my expectation that the platform will be a traditional Republican platform, not all that different from the one we had four years ago," Senator McConnell said. 

He also voiced an opinion on Mr. Trump's chances against presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a general election if the financial gap between the two campaigns continue to widen, saying that Trump can't win the presidency unless he can compete with Mrs. Clinton financially.

"He needs to catch up, and catch up fast," McConnell said. 

Differences in funds between the presumptive presidential candidates became starkly apparent last week, when May 2016 Federal Election Commission filings revealed that Trump had raised $3.1 million the month he became the presumptive Republican nominee for president. In contrast, the Clinton campaign raised $27 million.

McConnell isn't the only high-profile Republican to question Trump's qualifications for the presidency in recent weeks. 

Henry Paulson, President George W. Bush’s Treasury secretary, wrote in The Washington Post on Friday that he would back Clinton because "the GOP, in putting Trump at the top of the ticket, is endorsing a brand of populism rooted in ignorance, prejudice, fear and isolationism." 

Earlier last week, Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to President George H.W. Bush and an advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush, also said he was endorsing Clinton. 

On Monday morning, following McConnell's appearance on "This Week," Michigan's Republican Rep. Tom Price said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Trump is "absolutely" qualified for the presidency. 

"This is down to two individuals at this point and the question is, 'Who is better to take this country forward?' " Mr. Price, who is the House Budget Committee chairman, said. "And I think there's no doubt about that at this point." 

This report contains material from the Associated Press. 

 
 
 

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