- Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump on Wednesday attempted to douse reports of a growing rift between the two leaders.
In separate statements, McConnell and the White House said the leaders were working toward a unified agenda and suggested reports of a strain in their relationship were exaggerated.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we are committed to advancing our shared agenda together, and anyone who suggests otherwise is clearly not part of the conversation,” McConnell said.
Hours after McConnell’s statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the pair remained “united on many shared priorities,” including tax reform, the military, and constructing a wall along the southern border.
“They will hold previously scheduled meetings following the August recess to discuss these critical items with members of the congressional leadership and the president’s Cabinet,” Sanders said.
The statements follow a New York Times report Tuesday that detailed a widening rift in the pair’s relationship. The report said Trump berated McConnell on the phone after the Senate healthcare bill failed and that McConnell has expressed doubts about whether Trump could salvage his presidency.
Their spat has also played out publicly, too, as Trump repeatedly attacked McConnell via Twitter and in public remarks after McConnell said the president had “excessive expectations” around the healthcare process.
Despite the public aspects of the quarrel, McConnell said in his statement that the two are unified behind the GOP agenda.
“The President and I, and our teams, have been and continue to be in regular contact about our shared goals,” the statement said, reiterating that the two sides were working on items like tax reform and raising the debt ceiling.