Source: McConnell upset at Trump over latest Charlottesville comments
Posted August 16
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been publicly silent so far over President Donald Trump's latest remarks on Charlottesville, is privately upset with the President's handling of the episode, according to a source close to the Kentucky Republican.
McConnell, who has a long history of working on civil rights issues, is deeply concerned that Trump is reopening long-festering racial tensions, something that could fan the flames ahead of demonstrations expected in Lexington, Kentucky, the source told CNN.
But McConnell also is taking a cautious approach to the President after Trump lashed the GOP leader repeatedly last week for failing to deliver on health care. McConnell, the source said, did not want to immediately attack Trump for fear that it would look like retribution for their fight last week.
Moreover, McConnell will need to work with the President next month to avoid a fiscal crisis that would occur if Congress can't reach a deal to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling.
What makes matters awkward for McConnell: His wife, Elaine Chao, serves as Transportation secretary and was standing next to Trump during his Tuesday press conference where he placed blame equally on both white supremacists and the "alt-left" for the deadly violence in Charlottesville over the weekend.
McConnell, who has not had any public events since last week when he criticized the President for having "excessive expectations," is expected to keep a low profile this week as he continues to fundraise to maintain the GOP Senate majority.
The Senate GOP leader is expected to issue a statement on the controversy later Wednesday.