McConnell Chuckles When Asked About Trump's Ability to Handle Classified Info

By Susan Jones | May 16, 2017 | 2:40 PM EDT

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) chuckled when a reporter asked him if he has confidence in President Trump's ability to properly handle classified information. (Screen grab of May 16 news conference from C-SPAN)

( – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a news conference on Tuesday that Republicans are “trying to come together behind a proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare,” but reporters didn’t want to talk about that.

“Do you have concerns about the president’s ability to properly handle classified information?” one reporter asked McConnell.

He chuckled, paused, then gave a one-word answer: “No.”

“Are you starting to lose confidence in President Trump?” another reporter asked.

“No,” McConnell replied, without elaborating.

McConnell noted that the Senate intelligence committee has requested “additional information” about Trump’s meeting with the Russian diplomats in the Oval Office last week, when Trump reportedly divulged highly classified information about an ISIS plot to the Russians.

“I have a lot of confidence in (Intelligence Committee) Chairman Burr and (ranking member) Senator Warner to handle that whole matter perfectly,” McConnell said.

Asked how concerned Republicans are about the “seemingly endless” controversies engulfing the Trump White House, McConnell said he would repeat something he’d said earlier in the day:  “I think it would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House.”

On another topic, McConnell said he recommended that President Trump consider Judge Merrick Garland for FBI director, but apparently Trump is not interested in the man nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Obama.

Speaking about Garland, McConell said, "That illustrates the kind of person I hope and expect will come next – somebody deeply credentialed in criminal justice enforcement, completely apolitical, in line with the tradition of prior FBI directors. And I’m optimistic the president’s going to name someone like that."

McConnell said he’s discussing the selection process with the president.