The Senate Leadership Fund, one of two outside groups run by McConnell loyalists, spent nearly $86 million in the November 2016 election to benefit Republicans. That made it the third largest outside spender, trailing only the super PACS that backed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential primary contender Jeb Bush.

McConnell has remained silent about Trump’s pillorying, but Steven Law, the super PAC’s president and a former chief of staff to McConnell made it clear the Kentucky lawmaker commands his own power orbit. The Senate Leadership Fund, Law noted, is off to its strongest fund raising start in an off election year — amid worries about Trump.