A bombshell New York Times article released Tuesday night reveals a deepening tension between President Trump and the Majority Leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell.
According to the report, which is based on off the record leaks by Republicans, the two haven't spoken in two weeks, ever since an August 9th phone call devolved into a profanity laden shouting match.
During that conversation, not only did Trump rip into McConnell over the failure to repeal Obamacare, but he also accused McConnell of refusing to "protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election."
The U.S. Senate has two committees investigating Trump's collusion with Russia, the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has already held several hearings on the topic, and the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been pushing for documents from Donald Jr. and Paul Manafort.
According to The Times:
Mr. McConnell has fumed over Mr. Trump’s regular threats against fellow Republicans and criticism of Senate rules, and questioned Mr. Trump’s understanding of the presidency in a public speech. Mr. McConnell has made sharper comments in private, describing Mr. Trump as entirely unwilling to learn the basics of governing.
Trump's rift with McConnell has been exacerbated by his regular criticism of sitting Republican Senator Jeff Flake, whom he alluded to at a rally in Phoenix Tuesday night, calling him "weak on borders" and "weak on crime." Trump slammed him on Twitter the next day:
Phoenix crowd last night was amazing - a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1503494415.0
Trump has also tweeted in support of Flake's primary challenger, Dr. Kelli Ward:
Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1502967393.0
McConnell on the other hand, is doing all he can to support Flake, releasing a web ad on Tuesday through an affiliated Super-PAC "assailing Ms. Ward as a fringe-dwelling conspiracy theorist."