"Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing," Trump wrote on Twitter from what he calls a "working vacation" at his New Jersey golf club. "You can do it!"
Trump: Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!
In an earlier Thursday tweet, Trump slammed the Kentucky Republican for failing to pass an Obamacare repeal plan after campaigning on dismantling the law for most of a decade. Trump said: "Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!"
Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!
Later Thursday, Trump doubled down on his criticism of the Senate majority leader. The president told reporters that Republicans should have been able to repeal Obamacare, calling the failure to do so a "disgrace."
When asked if McConnell should step down as majority leader, Trump told the reporter to ask him that question if the Kentucky Republican can't push the president's agenda through.
"Well, I'll tell you what. If he doesn't get repeal and replace done and if he doesn't get taxes done — meaning cuts and reform — and if he doesn't get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure, if he doesn't get them done, then you can ask me that question," Trump said.
The exchanges likely will not help relations between the president and Republican senators when lawmakers return from recess. The Senate GOP has increasingly shrugged off suggestions from Trump as he faces low approval ratings and struggles to enact his agenda. For example, the president has urged senators to keep trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but that has fallen on mostly deaf ears.
It is unclear so far how Trump's recent criticism of McConnell will affect the pair's ability to work together in upcoming policy debates: the debt ceiling, federal appropriations and tax reform. Legislation on tax reform has to originate in the House.