'Mitch, get back to work': Trump knocks McConnell again on health care

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

President Trump continued to lash out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday, mocking the Kentucky Republican’s failure to pass new health care legislation.

“Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done,” Trump tweeted. “Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!”

Trump followed up with another tweeted barb early Thursday afternoon.

“Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing,” he wrote. “You can do it!”

Trump is currently at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending more than two weeks while the White House is undergoing renovations. But while the president has insisted it is not a vacation and that he is “working hard,” photos emerged Wednesday showing him on the golf course wearing a golf glove on one hand.

According to the New York Times, Trump spoke by phone with McConnell “to express his disappointment in the senator’s comments” prior to the Twitter message.

Before a national security briefing at the club Thursday afternoon, Trump was asked by a reporter if he thinks McConnell should step down.

If the Kentucky senator is unable to deliver on his agenda, Trump said, “Then you can ask me that question.”

Earlier, during a gaggle with reporters at a hotel near the club, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump is frustrated by McConnell’s failure on health care.

“You can see the president’s tweets,” she said. “Obviously there’s some frustration. I don’t have anything more to add.”

Sanders also said she was “not sure” if Trump had played golf.

Trump’s statements come a day after the president, his social media director and two Fox News hosts tore into McConnell’s public criticism of Trump’s legislative messaging.

“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so,” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”

At a Rotary Club meeting in Florence, Ky., on Monday, McConnell painted the president as an unrealistic political novice.

“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before,” McConnell told a small group in Florence, Ky., this week. “And I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”

In his remarks, McConnell also lamented that “artificial deadlines” are giving the impression that Senate Republicans are underperforming after the Senate failed to repeal and replace Obamacare within the first six months of Trump’s presidency.

“No Senator,” Fox’s Sean Hannity, a close Trump confidant, tweeted late Monday night, “YOU are a WEAK, SPINELESS leader who does not keep his word and you need to Retire!”

Hannity’s colleague, Lou Dobbs, said it’s time to “ditch Mitch.”

Dan Scavino Jr., the White House social media director, echoed Hannity and Dobbs in a pair of tweets Wednesday morning.

“More excuses,” Scavino wrote, adding: “#DrainTheSwamp! ASAP!!”

The Senate decamped from Washington on Thursday for a four-week August recess back in their home states after failing to deliver an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill long promised by the GOP.

Trump’s tweets about McConnell were tame compared to his frequent caustic barbs against his declared foes. During the campaign, for example, Trump frequently ripped into House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., whom he referred to as a “very weak and ineffective leader.”

— Yahoo News’ Liz Goodwin contributed to this report

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