President Donald Trump ditched his recent — if brief — talk of unity on Thursday, instead accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan of provoking a “mess” over the debt ceiling, while also lashing out at the news media and former intelligence official James Clapper.
The declarations came in a series of tweets that Trump fired off early Thursday, which also included a retweet of a picture of himself covering an image of former President Barack Obama with the caption, “The Best Eclipse Ever!”
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For days, Trump has bounced wildly between scripted messages calling for unity in the wake of Charlottesville and enthusiastic attacks on his opponents and fellow Republicans alike, underscoring how difficult a packed legislative calendar could prove in September for a president yet to achieve any substantial legislative wins while rapidly alienating his own party leadership.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders appeared to soften some of the rhetoric later Thursday, saying Trump shares leadership’s desire for a “clean” debt ceiling increase and denying that a significant rift exists.
“I think the relationships are fine,” Sanders said, but added: “Certainly there are going to be some policy differences, but there are also a lot of shared goals.”
Trump took special aim at McConnell, who has reportedly grown weary of the president’s scattershot approach to the presidency. Both McConnell’s and Trump’s teams had issued statements on Wednesday downplaying the tension, saying the two were working together on shared…
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