RAW VIDEO | U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell discusses meeting with Don - WDRB 41 Louisville News

RAW VIDEO | U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell discusses meeting with Donald Trump

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell addressed the media Friday afternoon, shedding new night on a meeting he had with President-elect Donald Trump Thursday afternoon.

Calling that meeting, "quite good," McConnell expressed his approval of what he called Republican "revolution" that swept Kentucky as well as the nation on Tuesday.

"I think it’s appropriate to say that this has been a very good week for Republicans, not only in Kentucky, but across the country," Sen. McConnell said.

"Starting here in Kentucky, the revolution that occurred on Tuesday -- flipping the state House -- was a dramatic change for our state after 95 years," he added. "As a citizen of our state I’m really pleased that we now have the tools in place for the Governor and his team to genuinely change Kentucky and make it more competitive with other states, which has been a very big problem for us for a very long time."

On the national front, McConnell expressed his support for a Trump presidency -- and admitted that he didn't think that was how the election was going to break.

"I was surprised," he said. "I, like everybody else, was watching all of the polls. Not always, but usually the polls are right."

McConnell cited the importance of the vote in the so-called "rust states," adding that it was that vote -- and a vote for change -- that propelled Trump to victory.

"Cut it any way you want to, this was an election between the status quo and change," McConnell said. "If you sort of filter out the personalities and all the charges and countercharges, what you come up with in looking at this election was, 'Are you satisfied with where you are, or do you want to go in a different direction?' Fundamentally, I think these people were not satisfied with the status quo, and that is what allowed him to win the election."

"We had a no-staff meeting for about an hour, talked about the transition and issues that we have a joint interest in pursuing, and I'm very confident that the administration is gonna get off to a good start," McConnell said.

He praised Trump's tone in the hours and days after the election.

"I was particularly appreciative of the way the President handled the meeting at the White House," McConnell said. "It underscores again that in this country, no matter how competitive the races are, how bitter the comments tend to be in our big raucous elections, when it’s over, we respect the will of the American people and we move on from there."

Prompted by a reporter's question, McConnell acknowledged that not everyone is pleased with the outcome of the election, but downplayed the anti-Trump demonstrations that have played out in various cities in recent days, comparing them to the "Occupy" protests of the past.

"We have protesters in Lafayette Park, across from the White House, every day," McConnell said, adding a moment later that, "Going back to the beginning of this country we've had a pretty open ability to complain about whatever you want to and it's about as American as apple pie. People are free to express themselves, and I don't think we ought to be unduly alarmed by it."

As for his meeting with Trump, McConnell said he discussed the agenda for the country, both in the short-term and the long-term.

"We had a good discussion about things that we're going to be pursuing in Congress," McConnell said. "He met -- as you know -- with the speaker as well. Things you'd expect us to talk about, like the Supreme Court, our concern about Obamacare and our desire to change that. Much of it reflected the positions that he took and that many of us took prior to the election. The American people expect us to pursue the agenda that we talked about, and I’m confident that that’s what we’re going to do."

He said one of the most pressing issues to be decided in the next few weeks is how Congress is going to fund the government, "because the Democratic minority in the Senate made it impossible for us to pass any of the individual appropriations bills that fund the government."

"We now have to figure out how to do that," McConnell said.

McConnell said one thing he brought up that he said Trump could do immediately after assuming office would be to approve the controversial Keystone Pipeline, which he said estimates showed could create up to 20,000 construction jobs, "almost immediately."

"That doesn't directly affect Kentucky, but talk about anxiety about jobs -- particularly jobs for working-class people," McConnell said. "The President sat on the Keystone Pipeline throughout his entire eight years -- even though his own State Department said it had no measurable impact on climate -- in a bow to his extreme environmental supporters."

McConnell said he would also like to end the perceived "war on coal," though he cautioned that, "whether that immediately brings business back – it’s hard to tell, because this is a private sector activity."

"As I've said repeatedly here over the last few years, the war on coal was not a result of anything Congress passed," McConnell said. "There was no new legislation. This was all either executive orders or regulations that the President was involved in unilaterally -- on his own."

Stay with WDRB News. We'll update this story as it develops.

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