Relations between Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks. Complicated by the position of McConnell’s wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Mr. Trump’s cabinet, angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with the president threatening to oppose Republican senators who cross him and McConnell mobilizing to their defence.
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.
Mitch McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.
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