It was a beautiful day Monday in Washington, D.C. and Trump and McConnell took a meeting in the Rose Garden. The Oval Office was apparently too plain or drab and obviously out of the public eye. Here, there was a spectacle of a news conference where the two appeared to be long-time friends rekindling their bromance for the sake of the GOP. Trump was conducting mini-speeches of answers in his typical style of unrehearsed and off the cuff. McConnell was disciplined, brief and scholarly in his answers demonstrating just what polar opposites these two people actually are.
Trump Loves Self-Promotion
The President denounced the Russia-Trump investigation, patted himself on the back for his record (of one) on judicial nominations, argued incorrectly about Reagan taking years for tax reform and claimed past presidents hadn’t contacted bereaved family members to mourn lost service members. Of course, what’s a news conference without Trump noting that he won the presidential election last fall. It was certainly a scene to behold though, watching the press corps jostling each other on the lawn because there weren’t any chairs. McConnell stiffly grinned while Trump proclaimed “We’re probably now closer than ever before, my relationship with this gentleman is outstanding.” Well, is it or isn’t it? Trump is a master of non-committed answers and positions.
Quite the turn of events though, as Trump spent August ripping into McConnell for his inability to pass healthcare legislation calling him a disgrace and failure. McConnell would often fire back to Trumps attacking Tweets with complaints of how Trumps expectations were excessive and Trump didn’t know how Congress operated. Despite these attacks and accusations, McConnell supported the President’s latest views in the Rose Garden.
Contrary to what some of you may have reported, we are together, totally, on this agenda to move America forward.
To those on the outside, this was seen as a meeting of necessity. This meeting was performed at a critical time with the Senate preparing to vote this week on a budget setting the stage for tax legislation leading to sweeping tax reform. Republicans see this as a make-or-break for a flailing Trump administration and the GOP runs in 2018. Failing to push through tax reform in any form would certainly prove devastating to the GOP and mark the third major failure for the Trump administration. We’ll see soon enough if this was a contrived news conference despite appearances and if this tenuous relationship is so toxic it’ll be off again in short order.