McConnell: Trump became presidential tonight

McConnell: Trump became presidential tonight
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump got harsher GOP reception than Bush on budget Franken explains why he made an exception to diss Cruz in his book The Memo: Trump returns to challenges at home MORE (R-Ky.) declared on Tuesday night that Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOversight Dem calls on WH to suspend Kushner's security clearance Civilian deaths a 'fact of life' in 'accelerating' war on Islamic State, Pentagon head says The Paris climate agreement: Stay in, renegotiate MORE hit his stride and became “presidential” during his first address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday.

McConnell, who has chided the president about his habit of tweeting provocative, off-the-cuff remarks and veering off message, hailed his speech in the House chamber as a big success and predicted his poll numbers would jump.

“For people who are not Republicans and already committed to the president and his agenda, Donald Trump did indeed become presidential tonight and I think we’ll see that reflected in a higher approval rating,” he said during an interview with CNN.

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McConnell was referring specifically to Trump’s emotional tribute to Carryn Owens, the widow of a Navy SEAL who was killed in a recent raid in Yemen.

Van Jones, a CNN commentator and former adviser to President Obama, called it “one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics” and declared Trump “became president of the United States in that moment.”

McConnell was quick to seize on that unusual praise.

“I find myself in agreement with Van Jones for the first time in my political life,” he said.

McConnell has made it clear that he is not a fan of Trump’s tweeting habit and told him during last year’s campaign to stick to scripts.

“I've been pretty candid with him and all of you that I'm not a fan of the daily tweets,” he told reporters during a recent press conference.