FIRST AIRED: January 12, 2019

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> This shouldn't be taken lightly.>> He's the most powerful Replublican not named Trump in Washington, DC. But as the partial shutdown drags on, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been keeping his head down, showing little appetite for the messy fight between the Democrats and President Trump over his demand for a border wall.
00:00:18
Well, unfortunately, the President just got up and walked out.>> When Trump stormed out of the meeting with top lawmakers this week, McConnell sat silently sources tell Reuters, not uttering a word as a talks blew up. Andy Sullivan has more.>> McConnell's clearly is a very effective operator in the Senate, and he's usually the one taking the lead, shepherding legislation through.
00:00:39
But McConnell doesn't wanna get in the middle of this fight, because that would put many of his Senate Republicans in an uncomfortable position. They'd have to choose between voting to reopen the government, and the pain, the costs of that are mounting every day.>> We wanna work!>> Or abandoning Trump.
00:00:55
They clearly don't wanna make that choice. They wanna stick with the President as much as possible.>> Any viable compromise will need to carry the endorsement of the President.>> McConnell on two occasions has bypassed the microphones after White House meetings aimed at ending the shutdown, leaving his Republican colleagues to defend the President.
00:01:13
>> We have a very, very unified party. Mitch has been fantastic. Another factor here is Trump himself. He's been pretty unpredictable throughout this process.>> Democrats suggest McConnell is war of being burned again after Trump's sudden reversal on the border wall last month when he rejected a spending bill passed overwhelmingly in the Senate without money for the wall after signaling to McConnell he would support it.
00:01:36
>> So potentially, the Senate could vote to reopen the government, and then Trump could veto that legislation. That would be the worst of all possible world for Senate Republicans, as they'd be seen as going against the President and also not being effective in opening the government.>> Some of McConnell's Republican colleagues in the Senate have begun to waver as federal workers go without pay.
00:01:57
Several facing tough reelection bids in 2020, such as Susan Collins and Corey Gallon, both of whom have called for an end for the shutdown. Democrats say McConnell could help bring the shutdown to a close. But so far, McConnell is showing no signs of moving off the sidelines and into the fray.