A New York Times report paints the relationship between Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as exceedingly and increasingly frayed. And as one of the report's authors noted, much of the turmoil is due to Trump's appallingly unpresidential behavior.
It’s an open secret that there is no love lost between Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
While enjoying his own luxury vacation recently, Trump tweeted that McConnell should “get back to work” and get some bills to his desk to sign. Weeks earlier, Trump had consistently lashed out at McConnell and other congressional Republicans for their failure on the health care repeal plan.
And McConnell, while certainly doing his part to prop up Trump’s dangerous agenda, has at other times made it clear that he will not put Trump’s need to save face ahead of his own livelihood in Congress.
Now, a new report from the New York Times goes into explicit detail about just how frayed the relationship between the two men has become — and what McConnell privately thinks of Trump’s presidential viability.
Trump and McConnell “have not spoken to each other in weeks,” the article notes, going on to say that McConnell “has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.”
“Angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with the president threatening to oppose Republican senators who cross him, and Mr. McConnell mobilizing to their defense.”
The article mentions a phone call in early August between the two that “quickly devolved into a profane shouting match.” Trump had berated McConnell over the health care repeal debacle, but also, more troublingly, was livid “about what he intimated was the Senate leader’s refusal to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
But on the particular issue of McConnell’s doomsaying for the future of Trump’s presidency, reporter Jonathan Martin told CNN’s Jim Sciutto that it is the litany of unpresidential behaviors Trump has exhibited that have led to such an assessment.
Trump’s “unwillingness to really get involved in either the salesmenship of the health care bill, or really even knowing the basics about the bill” has frustrated Republicans desperately trying to save their disastrous repeal efforts.
His tendency to engage in “open warfare” against Republicans in Congress who displease him in any way — like McConnell and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake — has burned a lot of bridges between the Oval Office and the halls of Congress.
And then there was his horribly offensive tirade on the white supremacist riot in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“What that did is create something of a breaking point,” Martin said of Trump’s unhinged press conference about the riot, “where a lot of senators who were upset over the first two points … this was kind of the last straw for some folks, including senators who don’t usually go after the president, who’ve just had enough.”
Of course, Trump has never telegraphed even an ounce of “presidential” behavior, and has proven to the nation time and again that he lacks a modicum of the decorum and seriousness the office commands.
Trump himself has laughably tried to claim that he is “MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL” — whatever that is supposed to mean, other than a way to excuse his juvenile and embarrassing social media habits.
And he absurdly declared that “With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office.”
If his fellow Republicans, like McConnell, are finally, maybe, waking up to the reality that Trump has no understanding of what it means to be the president, nor any desire to learn and adapt, now that his unfitness for the office is ensnaring them in its reach — well, welcome to the club, ladies and gentlemen.
Now, what do you plan to do about it?