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Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell heaped high praise on President Trump's first year in office. 

Sitting down with Dana Perino on "The Daily Briefing," McConnell (R-Ky.) said many Republicans weren't sure what to expect from Trump after the election, but he was pleased with the results in 2017.

"2017 was the best year for conservatives in the 30 years that I've been here. The best year on all fronts. And a lot of people were shocked because we didn't know what we were getting with Donald Trump," he said, noting that Trump was doing fundraisers for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer just three or four years ago. 

McConnell said Democrats made an "incredible miscalculation" when they unanimously opposed tax cuts. 

"They thought the tax bill would be for us what ObamaCare was for them politically. Totally different subject," said McConnell. 

He also highlighted the importance of a record number of federal judges being confirmed in the past year. 

"The Court of Appeals are where most cases end up. Only a tiny fraction make it all the way to the Supreme Court. The circuit courts are enormously important," said McConnell, adding he has made sure that confirming judges is a top priority on the Senate's schedule. 

He said the impact of federal judges is far greater and longer-lasting than any one president, since they have lifetime tenure. 

Watch the exclusive interview above.

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