Trump attacks McConnell and Ryan amid debt ceiling fight

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President Trump is again taking aim at Republican leaders ahead of looming legislative fights on the debt ceiling and potential shutdown of the federal government, blasting House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the target of a number of his recent barbs, as having failed on key issues.

In a pair of tweets Thursday morning, Trump attacked McConnell and Ryan for not tying an increase in the debt limit to a recent Veterans Affairs bill that passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support.

It’s unlikely, however, that Trump’s proposal would have succeeded on Capitol Hill.

Historically, Republicans and Democrats have clashed over how to raise the debt ceiling, and are motivated by the threat of default. Linking a popular VA reform bill to the must-pass legislation likely would have only delayed the passage of the former, and not expedite the passage of the latter.

The president’s attack on McConnell are just the latest in what has devolved into a bitter feud between the president and the top Senate Republican.

An aide to McConnell told ABC News that McConnell and Trump have not spoken since a phone call on Aug. 9 in which the president attacked McConnell over the failed health care vote and for not effectively protecting the president in the face of the mounting inquiries on his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

The public spat resulted in both the White House and McConnell issuing separate statements Wednesday assuring that the two still maintain shared legislative priorities and will hold prearranged meetings upon Congress’ return from the August recess.

Both McConnell and Ryan have since backed away from the president’s threat this Tuesday in a raucous Phoenix campaign rally that he would be willing to shut down the government if Congress fails to secure funding for his border wall.

“I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown,” Ryan said in a brief press conference after a tour of an Intel facility in Oregon.

ABC’s Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.



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