Thursday, August 24, 2017

White House Fingers Mitch McConnell As Media Leak; Believes GOP Leader Divulged Sensitive Intelligence on Trump


The White House is accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of waging a clandestine smear campaign against President Donald Trump, leaking sensitive internal communications shared with the President to the New York Times and possibly other media, according to administration officials.

“The President knows exactly what the senator (McConnell) has done,” a White House official said. “And the President will address this in his own way. Privately.”

The honeymoon — if you can call it that — appears to be officially over for the GOP leaders. And that might be a very bad thing for McConnell whose popularity is sliding in his home state of Kentucky.

According to White House insiders, President Trump was furious when the New York Times published a long hit piece on the president’s growing feud with McConnell. The piece included detailed communications between Trump and McConnell that, according to White House sources, were almost verbatim. Moreover, it is believe the article was timed to try to steal some of Trump’s thunder from his Monday night address to the nation on military plans in Afghanistan, officials said.

At a time when Trump should have been celebrating his speech from Tuesday night in Arizona — which likewise was well received by supporters — the mood on Wednesday was tamped down by the realization that the GOP leader had ratted out and betrayed the GOP President of the United States to the house organ publication of the Democratic party: The New York Times.

Stopping just short of calling the Kentucky Senator a rat, True Pundit’s White House sources said McConnell either leaked the information to the Times himself or instructed aides to do it for him. Either way, they said, the Senate leader no longer deserves blanket trust from the Trump administration.

“This was McConnell’s third strike,” one White House official said. “We won’t go into what the previous strikes were about because that is confidential.”

White House aides stress The New York Times had written very few stories — if any — citing details of McConnell’s telephone conversations with anyone else in Washington before his feud with Trump’s presidency.

The New York Times article painted Trump as unable to lead the GOP or even save his own presidency, according to McConnell’s “private” thoughts as the Times phrased it. The inflammatory piece contained several pieces of otherwise private and sensitive communications between President Trump and McConnell, including these revelations the Times said it allegedly gleaned from “more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership:”


Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

In a series of tweets this month, Mr. Trump criticized Mr. McConnell publicly, and berated him in a phone call that quickly devolved into a profane shouting match.

During the call, which Mr. Trump initiated on Aug. 9 from his New Jersey golf club, the president accused Mr. McConnell of bungling the health care issue. He was even more animated about what he intimated was the Senate leader’s refusal to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to Republicans briefed on the conversation.

Mr. McConnell has fumed over Mr. Trump’s regular threats against fellow Republicans and criticism of Senate rules, and questioned Mr. Trump’s understanding of the presidency in a public speech. Mr. McConnell has made sharper comments in private, describing Mr. Trump as entirely unwilling to learn the basics of governing.

In offhand remarks, Mr. McConnell has expressed a sense of bewilderment about where Mr. Trump’s presidency may be headed, and has mused about whether Mr. Trump will be in a position to lead the Republican Party into next year’s elections and beyond, according to people who have spoken to him directly.

While maintaining a pose of public reserve, Mr. McConnell expressed horror to advisers last week after Mr. Trump’s comments equating white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., with protesters who rallied against them. Mr. Trump’s most explosive remarks came at a news conference in Manhattan, where he stood beside Ms. Chao, the transportation secretary. (Ms. Chao, deflecting a question about the tensions between her husband and the president she serves, told reporters, “I stand by my man — both of them.”)

Mr. McConnell signaled to business leaders that he was deeply uncomfortable with Mr. Trump’s comments: Several who resigned advisory roles in the Trump administration contacted Mr. McConnell’s office after the fact, and were told that Mr. McConnell fully understood their choices, three people briefed on the conversations said.

Sen. McConnell could not be reached for comment.


- Source, True Pundit

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