President Donald Trump privately vented his frustration over Russia-related matters with at least two other Republican senators this month, according to people familiar with the conversations — in addition to the president’s public admonishments of Mitch McConnell, John McCain, and Jeff Flake.
Trump expressed frustration over a bipartisan bill sanctioning Russia and tried to convince Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker that it wasn’t good policy, according to three people familiar with the call. Trump argued that the legislation was unconstitutional and said it would damage his presidency. Corker was unrelenting, these people said, and told Trump the bill was going to pass both houses with bipartisan support.
“He was clearly frustrated,” one person said of Trump’s call with Corker earlier this month. The bill cleared Congress overwhelmingly last month and Trump grudgingly signed it on Aug. 2.
Trump also initiated a call to Mitch McConnell on Aug. 9 from his New Jersey golf club where the president whined at the refusal of McConnell to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to Republicans briefed on the conversation.
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