On Thursday President Trump slammed the GOP Congress for sending a Russian sanctions bill to his desk, despite not being able to successfully produce a bill to full repeal and replace Obamacare.
Even though the rift between Trump and GOP lawmakers has always been tenuous, Trump’s latest criticism tirade suggests that the relationship has taken a turn for the worse.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday, to announce that the US-Russia relationship is now “at an all-time and very dangerous low.”
“You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us [health care]!” he tweeted.
However, Congress did not remain quiet. Chairman of Foreign Relations, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) struck back at Trump over Twitter, saying, “I try to not to respond to tweets … [but] I will respond to this one and state, look, the relationship we have with Russia is solely because of Putin.”
Corker further said that there was “no reason” healthcare should be related to Russia sanctions.
Corker was not the only Senator to address the President’s tweet; Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis) also said that “completely, completely Putin’s fault.” Rep. Adam Kinzinger also took to twitter to say that the president should instead be angry at Putin, “the murderous dictator who attacked our democracy.”
Trump’s criticism of the GOP lawmakers on the two policy matters come following the GOP Senate’s frustration of the president’s public scathing remarks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions over Sesson’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
Trump’s frustration with Sessions is widely seen as an indication of the president’s desire to get rid of special counsel Robert Mueller, the man in charge of investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Moscow, and Russia’s possible interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.
On Thursday, reports surfaced that Mueller had appointed a grand jury to assess evidence that the Russia investigation has collected so far.
Earlier this week, Sen. Tim Scott (R – S.C.) while talking to the press, said that “we work for the American people. We don’t work for the president.”
GOP senators have also been taking measures to protect Mueller. On Thursday, they introduced two bills to stop Mueller’s dismissal without due cause.
Both bills, introduced independently by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) with Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Chris Coons (Del.), would essentially block any moves from the president or the Justice Department to dismiss Mueller as the special counsel.
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, has also suggested that he would disallow Trump from replacing Sessions as the attorney general since he won’t have any time for more confirmation hearings before next year.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) believes the Congress needs to start asserting its own authority. However, he rejected claims that lawmakers are being especially difficult to the Trump administration.
“I think it’s important that Congress assert its authorities under the Constitution and be an equal branch of government. So how that translates or manifests itself … remains to be seen,” he said.