President Trump blames the Senate's GOP leader for the health overhaul's failure, hints at tantalizing deals with Democrats, and watches his former strategist work to bulldoze the Republican establishment on Capitol Hill. There's no need for air conditioning at the White House with that chill in the air when Trump, a public official since January, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, first elected to Congress in 1984, meet on Monday, per the AP. A McConnell spokesman says their lunch topic will focus on the fall agenda, per Politico. That includes "completing the budget resolution, passing tax reform to help American families and workers, confirming well-qualified judicial and other nominees, and continuing to provide resources to communities affected by the recent hurricanes.” But it comes amid serious tension.
Steve Bannon, back at Breitbart News after helping Trump win the presidency and serving in the West Wing, reaffirmed his commitment to dumping McConnell in a speech to religious conservatives Saturday. "This is our war," Bannon said. "The establishment started it. ...You all are gonna finish it." Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine moderate who just passed up a run for governor and was a pivotal "no" vote on health care, said Bannon's rhetoric in favor of "hyper partisanship" is exactly what the American people are tired of. "Mitch McConnell is the Senate majority leader," she said. "The president needs him. I'm glad they're working together on tax reform and a lot of other issues. And I'm glad they're meeting this week."