McConnell unsure if Trump can save presidency: report

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.) is expressing doubts that President Trump can succeed in office after a summer of controversies and crises, according to a bombshell report from The New York Times.

The Times reported Tuesday that McConnell has privately questioned Trump’s willingness to learn how to govern and the president’s ability to lead the GOP into the 2018 midterm elections, according to people who have spoken to him.

The report that McConnell has expressed reservations about Trump's ability to salvage his presidency follows a week in which the president was put on the defensive after blaming both sides for the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

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McConnell was reportedly troubled by Trump's remarks that placed equal blame on hate groups and counterprotesters.

The Senate GOP leader also signaled his unease with Trump’s comments to business leaders who quit their posts on presidential advisory councils in recent days, according to the report.

The report comes after McConnell and Trump publicly feuded over Senate Republicans' failure to pass an ObamaCare repeal bill.

McConnell said in a speech earlier this month that Trump had "excessive expectations" about moving his legislative agenda through Congress.

That led Trump to lash out at the majority leader on Twitter, questioning why McConnell has not been able to accomplish longtime GOP campaign promises. 

He later suggested to reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club that if McConnell is unable to shepherd healthcare reform, tax reform and an infrastructure bill through the Senate, he should consider stepping aside from his leadership role.

In a phone call on Aug. 9, Trump blamed McConnell for the Senate's troubled efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Times said the call descended into shouting and profanity.

The president also accused the Kentucky Republican of failing to defend him against the ongoing congressional investigations into Russian election interference, including potential ties between Trump's campaign team and Moscow.