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Trump bridles at criticism from GOP Senate leader McConnell, fires back

Noah Bieman

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President Trump hit back in an escalating fight with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday over who is to blame for the Republican Party's failure to repeal Obamacare.

"After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?" Trump tweeted at McConnell (R-Ky.). 

McConnell has served in the Senate all seven years that Republicans have campaigned on repealing Obamacare, while Trump came to office for the first time this year.

The newest Trump tweet was in response to McConnell's comment to an audience in his home state Monday that Trump had raised expectations unrealistically, in large part because of his inexperience with legislating.

"Our new president has of course not been in this line of work before," he said at a Rotary club in Florence, Ky. "And I think had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process."

Trump pointed to those remarks in his tweet. "Senator Mitch McConnell said I had 'excessive expectations,' but I don't think so," he wrote, before asking "Why not done?"

Republicans remain concerned about political fallout from their core voters, many of whom may be angered by the failure to repeal the healthcare law.

The public nature of the intra-party fight is unusual. While relations between presidents and congressional leaders, even from their own party, are often tense, frustrations seldom break out into the open.

But Trump has been increasingly frustrated with what he sees as a lack of support from Republicans in Congress, while lawmakers have grown increasingly concerned that Trump's low standing in the polls and lack of legislative accomplishments could hurt them politically.

Dan Scavino, Trump's social media director, earlier in the day had accused McConnell of making "excuses."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump's press secretary, had attempted to minimize that response, saying in an email that Scavino was responding from his personal account, rather than in his official capacity, "and I'm not going to comment on his personal Twitter account."