Tags: Donald Trump | judd gregg | trump | republican | attacks | agenda

Ex-Sen. Judd Gregg: Trump's GOP Attacks Slow Efforts to Get Agenda Passed

Image: Ex-Sen. Judd Gregg: Trump's GOP Attacks Slow Efforts to Get Agenda Passed
President Donald Trump (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 24 August 2017 08:59 PM

President Donald Trump Twitter rants against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans is straining efforts to advance his agenda, strategists and other observers say.

"It makes it much more difficult obviously," former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, who was a counselor to McConnell during his 18 years in the Senate, told The Hill.

"It's much easier when you got everyone on the same page, in the same boat and pulling in the same direction," he said.

Trump's tweets are only alienating his allies in Congress, a former Senate Republican leadership aide said.

"Every time the president goes on a Twitter rant he either alienates people whose votes he needs, wastes time that should be spent building a public case for his policies or gives Democrats something to hammer," the aide told the Hill.

Trump has repeatedly slammed McConnell, the six-term Kentucky senator, over the chamber's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare last month.

He included House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in his attack on the leaders Thursday, ripping the national debt as a "mess."

President Trump will need McConnell and Ryan as Congress returns to work next month — and Republicans in the Senate are surprised that Trump is attacking party members even as they work together on tax reform and other issues.

"The White House staff that Trump has around him is signing off the same page as McConnell, which is we have shared legislative goals and we're working on accomplishing them," the former aide told the Hill.

"Everything is lined up pretty well except for the Twitter."

Both the White House and McConnell's office released statements Thursday expressing unity and cooperation in trying the advance the Republican Party's agenda.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also told reporters Thursday that Trump's relationship with party leaders was "fine."

"The relationships are fine," she said at the daily briefing. "Certainly, there are going to be some policy differences.

"But there are also a lot of shared goals and that's what we're focused on."

Still, the Twitter rants erode the working relationship — as McConnell and Ryan will need to garner support for critical legislation without help from President Trump.

"One day, Mr. Trump is making statements that are impressive and the next day doing things that are unimpressive," North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones, who voted against the House's bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, told the Hill.

"If you put a policy bill on the desk of the president, I'd be surprised if he wouldn't sign it — but it might be that you have to get the bill to his desk on your own and not with the help of the president."

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President Donald Trump Twitter rants against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans is straining efforts to advance his agenda, strategists and other observers say.
judd gregg, trump, republican, attacks, agenda
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2017-59-24
Thursday, 24 August 2017 08:59 PM
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