McConnell Brushes Off Reports of Bad Blood With Trump

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (CN) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday publicly disputed reports that his relationship with President Donald Trump is fractured, saying the two are aligned on tax reform, health care, defense and other key issues.

“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, a Kentucky Republican, said in a statement Wednesday.

The White House also released a statement, saying, “President Donald J. Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell remain united on many shared priorities, including middle class tax relief, strengthening the military, constructing a southern border wall, and other important issues.”

“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. White House and leadership staff are coordinating regarding the details of those meetings,” the statement said.

The refutation comes a day after The New York Times reported that McConnell and Trump have not spoken to each other since early August and that a phone call between the two men erupted into “a profane shouting match.” The report, which cites anonymous Republicans, also says that McConnell has expressed doubts that Trump will finish out his term.

The day before the profane phone call that The Times reported on Tuesday, McConnell said at a Rotary Group speech in Kentucky that Trump had “excessive expectations” about the speed with which the legislative process operates.

Trump has lashed out at McConnell on Twitter repeatedly since the collapse of the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act last month, and has urged McConnell to eliminate the filibuster for legislation in the Senate.

Congress has been away from Washington on a yearly recess for most of the month, but will return after Labor Day to a fight over lifting the debt ceiling that figures to be difficult.

Speaking at a rally on Tuesday night in Arizona, Trump threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not include funding for his proposed border wall in any spending agreement.

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