White House: No plans to meet with McConnell before Labor Day
Posted August 23
The White House is scheduling meetings between the President and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during the first week back for Congress, a senior White House official told CNN on Wednesday, signaling that despite tense relations, the two are not expected to meet before Labor Day.
"There were conversations about having calls on several items, but I think we felt it would be better to do it in person," the official said of the next time the two are scheduled to speak.
The official said there are no calls set up right now but that with 10 more days left in the recess, "it's possible they'll talk."
The official said the White House legislative affairs team and McConnell's team have been in touch consistently, and this person echoed our prior reporting that Vice President Pence and McConnell have spoken recently.
The comments came after reports Tuesday that McConnell and Trump had not spoken since a heated phone call on August 9 that devolved into a shouting match and the President swearing at the Kentucky Republican. The New York Times first reported on Tuesday that Trump and McConnell have not spoken since that call.
In a statement later Wednesday, McConnell said, "The President and I, and our teams, have been and continue to be in regular contact about our shared goals," and added that they are working on tax reform, infrastructure legislation, preventing government default and fighting ISIS.
"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," he said.
Later Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement saying the two men "remain united on many shared priorities, including middle class tax relief, strengthening the military, constructing a southern border wall, and other important issues." Sanders confirmed the current plans for the two GOP leaders to meet after recess concludes early next month.