Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday afternoon that both he and his staff are in regular contact with President Donald Trump, a statement that stands in stark contrast to a New York Times report published Tuesday afternoon that alleged the two haven’t spoken recently.
“The President and I, and our teams, have been and continue to be in regular contact about our shared goals,” McConnell said in a statement released to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we are committed to advancing our shared agenda together and anyone who suggests otherwise is clearly not part of the conversation.”
The NYTimes reported Tuesday that the relationship between McConnell and Trump has “disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks.”
The paper went on to say McConnell does not see how Trump can lead Republicans through the 2018 congressional election cycle, let alone the remainder of his first term in office.
McConnell said Wednesday that both he and the president are working together to push tax and regulatory reform, prevent a government shutdown, craft a defense appropriations bill and provide citizens relief from Obamacare.
Although McConnell’s statement does undermine the NYTimes report, it isn’t hard to see a potential rift between the two Republican leaders, given the pair’s recent back and forth regarding health care reform and the Charlottesville protests.
The president blamed McConnell for Republican’s failure to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare in late July, which ended in a contentious 51-49 vote on the Senate floor. Trump reportedly ripped into McConnell on a phone call Aug. 9, accusing him of messing up the Republican push to repeal Obamacare. Trump also ribbed McConnell on Twitter for the health care debacle.
For his part, McConnell has hit back at Trump. The Senate majority leader was upset with the president over how he handled the response to the protests in Charlottesville, Va.
Trump faced an onslaught of negative press and attacks from congressional Republicans, who said the president did not do enough to specifically call out the perpetrators of the Charlottesville protests in early August. The president said in the wake of the protests that he condemned violence on “many sides,” but he failed to call out white supremacist groups specifically.
Trump reiterated his comments, later saying that he thinks there is “blame on both sides.”
McConnell responded to the president’s statements, fully condemning all acts of violence committed in Charlottesville and denouncing white supremacists and racist groups by name.
“The white supremacist, KKK, and neo-Nazi groups who brought hatred and violence to Charlottesville are now planning a rally in Lexington. Their messages of hate and bigotry are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome anywhere in America,” McConnell said in a statement given to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Send tips to email@example.com
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.