President Donald Trump has been tweeting about Mitch McConnell at least since 2013
Trump weighed in on McConnell's last re-election and throughout 2017
President Donald Trump continued his ongoing public attacks against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday, criticizing the Senate majority leader for the Republican Party’s failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Trump responded on Twitter three times in fewer than 24 hours following criticism from McConnell that the President had “excessive expectations” of Congress and that “artificial deadlines” hurt the GOP agenda.
But Trump and McConnell’s tumultuous relationship, dating as far back as January 2013, was not always so tense – or at least not publicly so. Here is a timeline of their relationship, as told through Twitter:
January 1, 2013: “What is Mitch McConnell thinking?…make the big deal!”
The first time Trump mentioned McConnell on Twitter dates back to January 2013, when Republicans and Democrats in Congress were edging closer toward a fiscal cliff.
As then-Senate Minority Leader McConnell was in the middle of brokering a Senate compromise with Vice President Joe Biden, Trump encouraged McConnell to execute on “the big deal.”
February 27, 2013: “If Mitch McConnell wants to win his election, he’d better get rid of jinxed Karl Rove and fast… Rove’s ad campaign has made Ashley Judd a totally credible candidate. Be careful Mitch!”
Trump issued a warning to McConnell, whose Senate campaign released advertisements at the time slamming potential Democratic opponents, including actress Ashley Judd, who had expressed interest in running for McConnell’s seat.
American Crossroads, a super PAC co-founded by Karl Rove, also preemptively attacked Judd, which drew the ire of Trump for making her a “totally credible candidate.”
March 19, 2013: “Re: CPAC ‘The crowd in the main room filled to capacity by the end of Trump’s address, something his operative said he planned to do… to help McConnell, who spoke right after him.’ @BreitbartNews”
Trump quotes Breitbart’s reporting of his 2013 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in which the conservative outlet describes how Trump aimed to “help McConnell,” who was up for re-election in 2014.
According to the Breitbart article cited by Trump, he “was apparently worried that McConnell’s audience size might be smaller than normal since the Faith and Freedom Prayer Breakfast was happening at the same time.”
Trump offered a congratulatory tweet for McConnell’s victory in the 2014 Republican primary race, as the five-term senator defeated tea party-backed challenger Matt Bevin.
October 7, 2014: “Kentucky has a chance to have the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, representing it in Washington. Big power for State. Don’t blow it”
Trump continued his public support of McConnell’s Senate campaign through Fall 2014, with several tweets lauding the Kentucky lawmaker’s fundraising and leadership skills. Trump even cautioned the state of Kentucky not to “blow it” on McConnell’s senatorial aspirations.
As Kentuckians flocked to the voting booths, Trump heaped praise on McConnell, saying the country was “lucky” to have him in office. Trump followed up later that day, congratulating McConnell for securing a victory over the Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
November 5, 2014: “.@Team_Mitch Fantastic win, we are all proud of you! Your victory speech last night was very gracious to an opponent whose speech was not.”
Trump again congratulated McConnell on a “fantastic win.”
In the years and months that followed this tweet, Trump pursued political aspirations of his own as a candidate for President of the United States.
Trump mentioned dealing with Congress a few times throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, including saying “you have to get everybody in a room, and you have to get them to agree” at an ABC News debate in New Hampshire in February. He also defended McConnell as “actually a good guy” at an April rally in Indiana, fending off attacks from then-presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz.
McConnell later encouraged Republicans to rally behind Trump’s candidacy in May 2016, saying, “He got more votes than anybody else. And we respect the voices of the Republican primary voters across the country. And we’ll sit down and talk about the way forward.”
May 12, 2016: “Great meeting with @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell and Republican leaders in D.C. #Trump2016”
Trump posted a black and white photo of him speaking with McConnell in May 2016, in what Trump referred to as a “great meeting” with the Senate majority leader. Trump was nearing the end of that contentious presidential primary, that featured several members of McConnell’s caucus exchanging fiery rhetoric with the eventual GOP nominee.
January 26, 2017: “Spoke at the Congressional @GOP Retreat in Philadelphia, PA. this afternoon w/ @VP, @SenateMajLdr, @SpeakerRyan. Thank you for your support!”
Less than a week after Trump’s inauguration, the President tweeted a link to his speech at a private retreat for Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania. The video features Trump exchanging handshakes with McConnell, along with Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
June 6, 2017: “Great meeting with @HouseGOP and @SenateGOP leaders, including @SpeakerRyan, @SenateMajLdr, @GOPLeader, @JohnCornyn & @SteveScalise. #USA”
In June, Trump also tweeted a video of his meeting with Republican congressional leadership at the White House, where they reportedly discussed health care, tax reform, and the next steps on the President’s legislative agenda.
July 14, 2017: “So impt Rep Senators, under leadership of @SenateMajLdr McConnell get healthcare plan approved. After 7yrs of O’Care disaster, must happen!”
In mid-July, Trump sent a series of tweets urging GOP senators to work with McConnell to repeal and replace Obamacare, which he called a “disaster.” McConnell, at the time, was pushing for a vote on a motion to proceed with the GOP health care plan, yet was facing growing uncertainty from several Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Cruz and Rand Paul.
July 29, 2017: “The very outdated filibuster rule must go. Budget reconciliation is killing R’s in Senate. Mitch M, go to 51 Votes NOW and WIN. IT’S TIME!”
Just days after the GOP’s Obamacare repeal effort failed in the chamber, Trump railed against Senate rules requiring 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. He specifically told McConnell to get rid of the filibuster rule, telling him “it’s time” to change the rules.
Current Senate rules mandate that 60 senators – three-fifths of the 100-member Senate – must agree in order to end debate and move forward to a vote on a measure or piece of legislation. However, Senate Republicans had planned to use the process of reconciliation to pass legislation related to health care and tax reform, a legislative protocol that only required 51 votes.
August 9, 2017: “Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”
Speaking at an event in Kentucky Monday, McConnell expressed frustration with the President’s expectations about achieving his administration’s agenda.
“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before,” said McConnell according to CNN affiliate WCPO which covered the event. “I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”
Trump then slammed McConnell Wednesday, questioning the Senate majority leader’s unfulfilled promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
August 10, 2017: “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!”
It all led up to Trump’s tweet Thursday morning, in which the President again criticized McConnell for failing to pass a GOP health care plan. Trump followed up with an additional tweet six hours later, urging McConnell to “get back to work” on health care, tax reform, and infrastructure legislation. He signed off with a somewhat encouraging message: “You can do it!”
CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.