During President Trump’s recent working vacation, he tired of criticism for not accomplishing any of his major campaign promises, six months into his job. So, he took the usual Trump approach and blamed someone else — and that person happened to be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. On Twitter, Trump downright humiliated the Kentucky senator by telling him to “get back to work” on an Obamacare repeal, tax reform, and matters of infrastructure. This, naturally, couldn’t possibly sit well with McConnell, and sure enough, the New York Times reports that the two men have not exchanged a word in weeks. Weeks!
Of course, the two men barely tolerated each other in the first place, for McConnell resisted supporting Trump during primary season, and perhaps Trump will never let this go. Now, not only are they engaged within a cold war of sorts, the issue reportedly threatens to impact McConnell’s marriage to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao while the senator privately grumbles about Trump. Uh-oh:
What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of Mr. McConnell’s wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Mr. Trump’s cabinet, according to more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership.
Mr. McConnell has fumed over Mr. Trump’s regular threats against fellow Republicans and criticism of Senate rules, and questioned Mr. Trump’s understanding of the presidency in a public speech. Mr. McConnell has made sharper comments in private, describing Mr. Trump as entirely unwilling to learn the basics of governing.
The NY Times also notes (via Republicans in the know) that Trump is still bitter over what he feels is McConnell’s “refusal to protect him” from the ongoing Russia probes, although what could McConnell possibly do to defend Trump? Only the congressional committees and DOJ can carry the Russia thing to completion.
Of course, this conflict will not end well, although it’s unclear who (or what, in the case of McConnell’s marriage) will be left standing after all is said and done. And it’s not looking good for McConnell in his home state either, for a new Public Policy Polling survey currently places his approval rating at a (non-)whopping 18%. Mitch McConnell is having a bad year, indeed.
(Via New York Times)