After the months-long attempt to pass legislation to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act reached an impasse in the Senate in late July, McConnell, R-Ky., expressed dismay at the administration's expectations and suggested the president's inexperience was undermining the GOP's efforts.
When asked if McConnell should resign from his seat-as recently suggested by Fox News commentator Sean Hannity-Trump said his response would be based on McConnell's ability to pass Republican initiatives in the future.
"You can ask the question" of McConnell stepping down, Trump told the pool reporters gathered at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey during his 17-day long working vacation.
Though Trump has occasionally called for the Senate leader to eliminate the legislative filibuster and McConnell has several times said he's no fan of the president's tweeting habit, they have otherwise avoided the public conflicts Trump has had with other Republicans.
McConnell has always been a target of conservatives" ire, which has ramped up in the aftermath of the Senate's failure to repeal former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaDemocrats introduce another "false hope" act to immigrants IL makes "Barack Obama Day' a state holiday GOP senator: I wish Republicans had stood up to birtherism MORE's signature healthcare law.
No doubt McConnell (and congressional Republicans in general) are very aware that Trump made things harder by making even more unrealistic promises than what they had made, by backstabbing them at various times during the deliberations, most notably by calling the House-passed bill "mean", and by failing to provide any worthwhile leadership at all. "You can do it!".
"It's simply counterproductive", said Michael Steel, former spokesman to ex-Speaker of the House John Boehner, of Trump's attacks of the majority leader. And there's a very clear downside: That he loses the trust, respect and collegiality of everyone from McConnell to the rank-and-file Senate Republicans who owe their elections (or reelections) to McConnell. The administration has also been mired in investigations into contacts between his presidential campaign and Russian Federation, and distracted by infighting among high-level White House staff.
Brunell Donald-Kyei, of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, backed the president in criticizing Sen. On his campaign website, Brooks said, "Mitch McConnell and the Swamp managed to mislead the President last night". "He's part of the leadership team". "This is a President, obviously, who's never had to work with Congress". He's not an observer sitting up in the stands.
Even before his Twitter screed against McConnell this week, Trump saw firsthand that he can not will or bully legislation into being. "It was a collective failure".
McConnell has brushed this point aside, noting that on health care the Republicans had not been able to find even 50 votes. "You saw that on full display a couple of week ago", when McConnell was unable to muster a majority to push three different Republican health care bills through the chamber.
Trump assailed McConnell on Twitter both Wednesday and Thursday.
Trump has also repeatedly has urged lawmakers to change Senate rules so Republicans would need only 51 votes, instead of 60, to pass most legislation.