Just a week after President Donald Trump castigated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, expressed her support for both the president and her husband.
Trump, who had demanded last week that McConnell should “get back to work” on health care, gave Chao time to speak to the press after a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower recently.
Responding to a question posed by reporters regarding Trump’s opinion of her husband, Chao said, “I stand by my man — both of them.” Chao spoke as she was standing next to Trump, who had just given his own speech detailing his agenda and providing comments on the incident in Charlottesville, Virginia.
McConnell and Trump clashed a week ago after the lawmaker commented at an event in Kentucky that Trump had “excessive expectations” of the pace at which Congress operates. McConnell also blasted the Trump administration for imposing “artificial deadlines,” pointing out that it might create a perception that they are underperforming in Congress.
Senator Mitch McConnell said I had “excessive expectations,” but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
In true Trump fashion, he responded via Twitter two days later with a post saying:
“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”
The next day, he posted a follow-up tweet, this time using only the lawmaker’s first name. “Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!”
According to CNN, a White House official confirmed that Trump and McConnell had an “animated” conversation over the phone last week, and reportedly discussed a plan on how to repeal the Affordable Care Act.