US denies rift between Trump, Senate head
WASHINGTON - Agence France-PresseThe White House insisted Aug. 23 that President Donald Trump and the U.S. Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell were “united” on their political priorities, after reports of fallout between the pair.
Trump has lashed out in recent weeks against Senate Majority Leader McConnell, pinning the blame on the veteran legislator for failing to repeal and replace the health care reforms enacted under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.
Trump even hinted recently that the Kentucky Republican should resign.
But after an explosive New York Times report on Aug. 21 that said McConnell privately expressed uncertainty about whether Trump could last through his entire term in office, the White House sought to calm the waters.
Trump and McConnell “remain united on many shared priorities, including middle class tax relief, strengthening the military, constructing a southern border wall, and other important issues,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
The bickering spilled into the open when Trump fired off several scornful tweets earlier this month at McConnell, a lawmaker he desperately needs on his side to get his agenda through Congress, after the Obamacare repeal collapsed.
McConnell has expressed his own frustration at the president, reportedly seething to aides over Trump’s criticism of fellow Senate Republicans including Jeff Flake and Dean Heller, both of whom face tough re-election fights next year.