Mitch McConnell was shocked by Donald Trump's election win

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was as stunned as anyone by Republicans' victories on election night.

In an interview that aired on public television Monday night, the Kentucky Republican said he didn't expect Donald Trump's victory, nor did he anticipate hanging on to the majority in the Senate.

"I honestly thought we wouldn't hold the U.S. Senate, I thought we'd come up short," McConnell told Kentucky Educational Television's Bill Goodman. "And I didn't think President[-elect] Trump had a chance of winning."

Related: Most and least liked U.S. Senators

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Top most and least liked U.S. Senators
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10. Richard Durbin, Illinois

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McConnell, though, said the former reality television star and real estate mogul was able to connect with disaffected, working-class voters who were disappointed by the Obama administration, and thus was able to "pierce the blue wall" that delivered him the electoral votes he needed to win the White House.

And that was despite a background that, at least on paper, wouldn't seem likely to resonate with those voters, McConnell said.

"Trump was able to convey – oddly enough a message from a billionaire who lives in Manhattan – a genuine concern for people who felt kind of left off, who felt offended by all the political correctness they see around them," McConnell said.

The results of the election, meanwhile, have Democrats "in a very feisty mood these days," McConnell said.

"I know a lot of people are upset and bent out of shape about things that happened this year," McConnell said. "I just want to remind everybody that this is an extraordinarily resilient country we live in."

McConnell largely avoided discussing Trump over the course of the campaign, saying he would support him in May but for the most part refusing to comment on his controversial campaign trail statements. Unlike House Speaker Paul Ryan, who repeatedly clashed with the then-Republican nominee, McConnell avoided the limelight and, as a result, has been a far less frequent target of Trump's ire than Ryan.

Related: Mitch McConnell during 2014 election

24 PHOTOS
Mitch McConnell, Obama Election 2014
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Mitch McConnell, Obama Election 2014
US President Barack Obama (2nd L) meets with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, ( L); Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed, D-Nevada, (C); Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, (2nd R); and US Senator Chuck Schumer, D-New York, (R) during a bipartisan, bicameral congressional leadership luncheon at the White House in Washington, DC, November 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - NOVEMBER 4: Supporters react to election results as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is declared the winner by cable news during a GOP victory party at the Marriott East in Louisville, Kentucky, Tuesday November 4, 2014. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is in a tight Senate race with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan. Grimes(Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 4: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his wife Elaine Chao, address the crowd during a party for Kentucky Republicans in Louisville, Ky., November 4, 2014. McConnell defeated Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
MANCHESTER, NH - NOVEMBER 4: U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) celebrates with supporters at the Puritan Conference Center November 4, 2014 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Shaheen beat former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown in a tighty contested race. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA November 4: Newly elected Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst during their election night celebration party on November 4, 2014 in West Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA November 4: Newly elected Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst during their election night celebration party on November 4, 2014 in West Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - NOVEMBER 04: Supporters of U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and republican U.S. Senate elect in Arkansas hold signs and cheer during an election night gathering on November 4, 2014 in North Little Rock, Arkansas. U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) defeated two-term incumbent democrat U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR). (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - NOVEMBER 04: U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and republican U.S. Senate elect in Arkansas greets supporters during an election night gathering on November 4, 2014 in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Cotton defeated two-term incumbent democrat U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR). (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 4: A voter gestures as Senate Minority Leader U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) votes in the midterm elections at Bellarmine University November 4, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. McConnell is running in a tight race against opponent Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
FORT MYERS, FL - NOVEMEBER 4: Texas Gov. Rick Perry stops by a Republican call center to rally campaign workers November 4, 2014 in Fort Myers, Florida. Florida Gov. Rick Scott is running in a tight race against opponent and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist the Democratic challenger. (Photo by Erik Kellar/Getty Images)
I voted . LLAP http://t.co/DZBvf2wLrk
...And this is the last time we're expecting to see Wendy Davis until the polls close. http://t.co/nhkIJBFUp3
MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 4: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks to the media after he casts his ballot on election day at Jefferson Elementary School, November 4, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Walker is running in a tight race against opponent Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)
Former Florida Governor and now Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist walks out of th Total Image Hair Salon after making an election day phone bank visit to thank volunteers on November 4, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. Crist is facing off against incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott in today's election. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) takes a family photo with husband Bill, and extended family outside Madbury Town Hall after casting her vote November 4, 2014 in Madbury, New Hampshire. Incumbent Shaheen is in a tight race with former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
US Senator Mark Warner(R),D-VA, running for re-election to the Senate, speaks to reporters after casting his vote November 4, 2014 the Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy in Alexandria, Virginia, shortly after the polls opened for the midterm US elections. Warner is running against Republican challenger Ed Gillespie. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
JUST GOT DONE VOTING #ROCKTHEVOTE #TURNOUTFORWHAT
Are you voting today? I was the youngest person at my polling place by at least 30 years. If I'm reporting... http://t.co/fg2ZVLQgDy
Voter Adam Hensley casts his ballot at a polling station at Fugate's Bowling Alley in Hazard, Kentucky, U.S. on Tuesday, on Nov. 4, 2014. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is trailing her opponent Republican Mitch McConnell, 41 percent to 50 percent in the Kentucky Senate race, according to an NBC/Marist poll. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 4: Gordon Reed casts his ballot to vote in precinct 28 on November 4, 2014, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Americans head to the polls to cast their vote in the mid-term elections which will ultimately decide what party controls the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images)
MT KISCO, NY - NOVEMBER 04: New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo (L), and his girlfriend, television personality Sandra Lee, arrive to vote during the 2014 general election at the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco on November 4, 2014 in Mt Kisco, New York. (Photo by Kenneth Gabrielsen/Getty Images)
KENNEBUNK, ME - NOVEMBER 4: Vicki Patterson of Kennebunk leaves a voting booth at Kennebunk Town Hall on Tuesday morning, November 4, 2014. It is the first year that Kennebunk opened its polls at 6 a.m. and Town Clerk Merton Brown said that 402 voters came through the polls in the first two hours. (Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
SOUTH PORTLAND, ME - November 4: Scarborough voter Larry Gray proudly displays his button. (Photo by John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
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Elsewhere in the interview, McConnell reiterated his continued opposition to having a special committee investigate Russian interference in the presidential election.

A bipartisan group of prominent senators, led by Armed Forces Committee Chairman John McCain of Arizona and incoming Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, have urged McConnell to authorize the formation of a panel dedicated to probing the hacking that U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was done by Russia and intended to help elect Trump.

While McConnell – unlike Trump and many GOP voters – does not deny or question Russia's role in the hacking, he has maintained that the investigation in the Senate can be done through an existing committee.

"There's no question that the Russians were messing around in our election," McConnell said Monday. "It is a matter of genuine concern and it needs to be investigated."

But the Senate intelligence committee, McConnell said, is "fully capable of handling this."

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