Trump blasts ‘Folding McConnell’ over debt ceiling vote

by Ryan Meilstrup

President Trump on Thursday implored Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans not to make a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats to pass a debt ceiling increase.

McConnell didn’t heed his advice.

Trump released a statement Thursday before the debt ceiling vote was taken in which he said, “Republican Senators, do not vote for this terrible deal being pushed by folding Mitch McConnell. Stand strong for our Country. The American people are with you!”

His statement followed one he made the day before where he first urged McConnell not to fold to Democrats. “Looks like Mitch McConnell is folding to the Democrats, again. He’s got all of the cards with the debt ceiling, it’s time to play the hand. Don’t let them destroy our Country!” Trump wrote.

Despite the warning, McConnell proceeded to make a deal with Schumer and the Democrats.

McConnell got 10 other Republicans on board to vote to end debate and allow a debt ceiling increase measure to reach the full Senate floor, allowing Democrats to have a party-line vote to pass the measure.

The Wall Street Journal reported the following:“The key moment came earlier in the evening, when 11 Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in a vote to break the 60-vote filibuster threshold and proceed to final passage of the measure, which cleared the Senate 50 to 48, with two Republican absences.

The legislation, based on a proposal made Wednesday by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and accepted by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) Thursday morning, will raise the nation’s borrowing limit by $480 billion, the amount the Treasury Department says is needed to meet the country’s cash needs until Dec. 3.”

In response to McConnell’s action, the 45th president responded on Fox News that night.

Trump told Hannity on Thursday night, “The Republican Senate needs new leadership,” he said. “I’ve been saying it for a long time. Mitch is not the guy. He’s not the right guy. He’s not doing the job.”

McConnell and Trump have had a complicated relationship over time. The two worked together on pieces of legislation like tax cuts as well as confirming Trump’s appointed justices to the courts. But, McConnell broke with Trump after the events of Jan. 6.

Following the vote on the Senate floor to acquit President Trump during February’s impeachment trial, McConnell attacked him by saying, “There’s no question… that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”

Trump fired back by writing that “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.”

This is yet another difference of opinion in their rocky relationship. And given their history, it might not be their last. 

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