The Latest: GOP defends Senate leader against Trump attacks

FILE - In this June 27, 2017 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump raised the possibility Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 that McConnell should step down if he can't muscle health care and other legislation through the Senate, taking an extraordinary swipe at the man with the most power to steer the White House agenda through the chamber. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE -In this June 27, 2017 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. steps out of the West Wing of the White House in Washington to speak with the media after he and other Senate Republicans met with President Donald Trump. President Donald Trump raised the possibility Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, that McConnell should step down if he can't muscle health care and other legislation through the Senate, taking an extraordinary swipe at the man with the most power to steer the White House agenda through the chamber. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminister, N.J., Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. The president raised the possibility that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should step down if he can't muscle health care and other legislation through the Senate, taking an extraordinary swipe at the man with the most power to steer the White House agenda through the chamber. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
FILE - In this June 6, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump, flanked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. President Donald Trump resumed his taunts of his party's Senate leader, expressing disbelief that McConnell couldn't persuade a Republican majority to pass a health care bill. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON — The Latest on the feud between President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (all times local):

3:10 p.m.

Senate Republicans are rallying in support of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, pushing back against the onslaught of criticism from President Donald Trump.

Republicans took to Twitter, their president's preferred means of communication. They're praising McConnell as a gifted leader backed by his 52-member caucus.

They cast him as a Republican intent on delivering for the party and the president on taxes and budget this fall. A number of GOP lawmakers pointedly reminded Trump and other Republican critics that it was McConnell who ensured the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas tweeted, "Passing POTUS's legislative agenda requires a team effort. No one is more qualified than Mitch McConnell to lead Senate in that effort."

The show of support came from moderates and conservatives.

___

4:34 a.m.

President Donald Trump is suggesting that his top Senate partner might need to step aside if the Republicans don't begin passing his agenda items.

Trump is calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's failure to pass an "Obamacare" repeal last month "a disgrace." He says if lawmakers don't move on health care, plus advance a tax and infrastructure plan, he will weigh in about whether McConnell should remain leader.

The president made the comments Thursday while on what he calls a working vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Trump has been angry at McConnell since the leader said earlier this week that Trump is new to Washington and has "excessive expectations" about how legislating works.

McConnell's office hasn't responded to Trump's latest criticism.

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