The Senate Majority Leader mocked Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon on Friday at a year-end news conference on Friday, calling him a "political genius."
When asked if McConnell blamed Bannon for Doug Jones' special election Senate victory in Alabama, he responded, "Well let me just say this: The political genius on display of throwing away a seat in the reddest state in America is hard to ignore."
Jones narrowly beat out his Republican opponent, Roy Moore - whose campaign had been embroiled in sexual allegations including making unwanted sexual advances on teenagers while he was in his 30s. But Moore denied the claims against him and continued his campaign despite McConnell and other Senate Republican leaders asking him to drop from the race.
The former chief strategist returned to right-wing Breitbart news and was a backer for Moore in the GOP primary, while McConnell backed the incumbent beat out by Moore, Sen. Luther Strange.
Despite Trump criticizing McConnell for the Senate failing to repeal Obamacare, he said he had a “really good” working relationship with the president, especially after Congress's approval of the Republican tax bill he said "brought everybody together." McConnell also encouraged Republicans to rally more support for repealing the Affordable Care Act but offered no further confirmation as to how he would move forward. "My view of that is, as soon as we have the votes to achieve it, I’d like to do that,” he said during the conference.
McConnell shared details from the year's upcoming agenda at the news conference in the Capitol, covering majority party decisions regarding immigration and health care.
The Washington Post reported, "Party leaders will also confront a demanding midterm campaign landscape that has been complicated by Bannon’s feud with McConnell and his attempt to use next year’s primaries to oust many GOP senators loyal to the leader."
The Senator also mentioned he would be meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan in January to discuss their agenda for the upcoming year.
McConnell added he is willing to bring the immigration legislation to the Senate floor on the condition that a bipartisan group of senators can reach an agreement. He hopes senators reach a compromise over the issue of granting legal status for the millions of children who were brought over to the U.S. illegally.
Twitter weighed in on McConnell's comment mocking Bannon.
Bannon is not going down without a fight. To embolden the Republican party, he's enlisting other GOP candidates who will face off against those who challenge Trump's agenda and will help overturn McConnell's position as majority leader.
He told Vanity Fair, "The GOP establishment, as personified by Mitch McConnell, has not done a good job supporting the president’s agenda."
It's not quite Christmas yet, but it appears that the 2018 midterms are already off to a dramatic start.
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