McConnell ignores Trump attacks, laments slim majority in Senate at Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast

08/24/2017 11:42 AM

LOUISVILLE — As U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the podium at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, President Trump began to tweet.

Days after a New York Times article claimed Trump and McConnell’s relationship had disintegrated, McConnell ignored questions from reporters on the topic.

Meanwhile back in Washington, D.C., Trump tweeted his frustrations writing ,“The only problem I have with Mitch McConnell is that, after hearing Repeal & Replace for 7 years, he failed!That should NEVER have happened!”

From the podium at the ham breakfast, McConnell lamented a slim majority which has kept major legislative successes at bay.

“One of the opportunities I have as the Majority Leader of the Senate is to set the schedule — doesn’t always guarantee the outcome — but at least I get to decide what we’re going to do,” McConnell said.

Frequently, he said it is also important to decide what not to do. For instance, McConnell said that the decision to not let President Obama fill former Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court during the end of his term brought in conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch under President Trump.

McConnell did single out Trump and others over “trade rhetoric”

“I’m a little concerned about some of the trade rhetoric not only by the president who succeeded, but by the people who were running against him,” McConnell said. “I think we still have a selling job to point out to most Americans that trade is a winner for America.”

On the reports of a feud between McConnell and Trump, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said that he wasn’t concerned by the rumors and each have Kentucky’s best interest at heart.

“I’ve never spoken with either of them about the other, so I’m not sure what their thoughts of each other are,” Bevin told reporters before the breakfast.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Vanceburg, said he had never witnessed any animosity between McConnell and Trump.

“It’s tough when things get personal to then work on legislative issues,” Massie told Pure Politics when asked about what the feud could mean for legislative success in Congress.

“I think it’s good not to let things get personal.”

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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