Trump will need Mitch McConnell as Pelosi and Democrats control House
Mueller’s Russia probe and separate investigations have also closed in around Trump associates. The president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for crimes including his role in hush payments to two women who accused Trump of affairs ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutors said he acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” the president.
With challenges mounting, the Senate will likely provide a safe haven for Trump. McConnell this week declined to address the government’s accusations against Trump, while some other GOP senators shrugged them off.
Trump has many staunch allies in the chamber, and the two GOP senators most likely to criticize Trump — Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee — are leaving next month. Republicans expanded their majority in November, largely due to a favorable electoral map and with a boost from Trump’s rallies in states such as Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri.
While his push for McConnell to repeal Obamacare did not yield results, Trump’s pressure on criminal justice reform did yield results in the Senate. The Senate Republican leader’s decision to take up the legislation this month followed urging from Trump and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
“Hopefully Mitch McConnell will ask for a VOTE on Criminal Justice Reform,” Trump wrote in a tweet Friday. “It is extremely popular and has strong bipartisan support. It will also help a lot of people, save taxpayer dollars, and keep our communities safe. Go for it Mitch!”
Of course, the tweets are only part of Trump’s relationship with McConnell. In May, the senator told The Washington Post that “[Trump] calls me, and I call him multiple times a week, and sometimes at unusual hours.”
“About half the time, it’s just on his cell to my cell, without any intermediary,” he told the newspaper.
At a rally in Kentucky in October, Trump blanketed McConnell in his most glowing praise yet. Republicans had just confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite sexual misconduct allegations against the judge. The GOP saw the brutal confirmation fight as a boost to it in the midterms.
Trump called the Kentucky Republican “the greatest leader in history,” according to The New York Times. McConnell in turn promised to keep working with the president to confirm judges who would serve decades.
“Keep sending them our way, and we’ll keep changing the court system forever,” he said.
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