White House

Trump blasts McConnell over 'excessive expectations' remark, source says

Ed Henry

President Donald Trump ripped into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a tense private phone call Wednesday morning, a source familiar with the call told Fox News.

The source said Trump was reacting angrily to McConnell’s remarks at a Rotary Club speech Monday in his home state of Kentucky in which he suggested that the president, given his lack of political experience, suffers from “excessive expectations” about what both chambers of Congress can get done.

During the approximately 10-minute phone call, the source said, the president curtly told McConnell he did not appreciate the criticism and still expects Republican leaders to push for repealing ObamaCare, even though that has largely been shelved for now.

The source added that Trump also told McConnell he is unhappy with U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who cast a decisive vote against repealing ObamaCare without a replacement in place. McCain, who is battling brain cancer, also slammed the president’s aggressive rhetoric on North Korea this week.

The source said the president mused to McConnell that he does not understand why the majority leader is allowing McCain to keep his powerful chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee after bucking the party.

The barb-filled phone call between Trump and McConnell -- the Senate leader whom the president still needs to shepherd the rest of his legislative agenda -- came hours before the president's Wednesday afternoon tweet expressing more gentle public annoyance over McConnell’s remarks.

“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so,” the president tweeted. “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”

Ed Henry currently serves as Fox News Channel's (FNC) chief White House correspondent. He joined the network in June 2011. His latest book is "42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story."