The criticism risks further erosion in the relationship between the president and Republicans whose loyalty he needs.
The world has gotten another clear-eyed look at President Trump as he continues to rattle cages during his working vacation at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J. He has displayed one gear, one speed — attack and attack again.
When he is unhappy, it shows. This week his ire has been focused on two individuals — one an obvious adversary and the other, inexplicably, a presumed ally. The adversary is North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. The ally is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Trump’s tweets and statements have escalated tensions between the United States and North Korea and seemingly put the president at odds, again, with some of his national security team on the best approach to a dangerous situation. But there may be a purpose behind all the bluster as his administration seeks to do what previous administrations have failed to do, which is to persuade the North Koreans to give up their quest to become a nuclear power.
His comments about McConnell are far more baffling. That McConnell has become a target for criticism is an unexpected and possibly destructive turn in Trump’s presidency. The tensions between the two leaders have existed since long before Trump was elected president. But neither Trump nor McConnell can afford to be at open war with one another. That at least is what McConnell allies believe.