Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he has no intention of retiring before his term ends in January 2027.

The Kentucky Republican previously announced he would step down as party leader at the end of the year.

McConnell’s comments dispel speculation that he would retire before the completion of his term.

The Hill reports:

But he says he will continue to play an active role in the Senate, focusing on the debate within the Republican Party over how actively the United States should project power abroad.

“I’m not leaving the Senate and I’m particularly involved in actually fighting back against the isolationist movement in my own party and some in the other as well, and the symbol of that lately is, ‘Are we going to help Ukraine or not?’ And I think it’s extremely important that we do that,” he told Louisville, Ky., radio host Terry Meiners in an interview.

McConnell announced in February that he planned to serve out the entirety of his seventh Senate term when he revealed he would step down as party leader at year’s end.

“I’m not going anywhere anytime soon,” McConnell told colleagues on the Senate floor Feb. 28. “I will complete the job my colleagues have given me until we select a new leader in November and they take the help next January.

“I will finish the job the people of Kentucky hired me to do,” he said.

According to POLITICO, McConnell said he will continue fighting the Republican Party’s “isolationist movement” after he steps down as leader.

From POLITICO:

The Kentucky Republican, who is leading the hawkish wing’s drive to fund Ukraine, said in an interview with WHAS’s Terry Meiners that continuing to push for a brawny national security approach will be a major priority over the rest of his time in the Senate. McConnell’s term ends at the end of 2026, two years after he plans to give up his leadership post, and he said he’ll serve it out in full.

“I’m particularly involved in actually fighting back against the isolationist movement in my own party. And some in the other as well. And the symbol of that lately is: Are we going to help Ukraine or not?” McConnell said. “I’ve got this sort of on my mind for the next couple years as something I’m going to focus on.”

Asked about his divergent view with fellow Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who opposes foreign aid and sending more money to Ukraine to fend off Russia, McConnell said they’ve never agreed on foreign policy and that Paul “would be the first one to say that he’s an isolationist.” The bigger problem, McConnell added, is that more of his conference is agreeing with Paul’s view; roughly half the Senate Republicans voted for the foreign aid bill and its $60 billion in Ukraine funding.

That means many of his own members are now opting against sending Ukraine money.

“What’s made it more troublesome is, it seems to me, others are heading in that direction, making arguments that are easily refuted. We’re not losing any of our troops, the Ukrainians are the ones doing the fighting,” McConnell said. “If the Russians take Ukraine, some NATO country would be next and then we will be right in the middle of it.”

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