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Schumer: Relationship with Republicans getting better

Schumer: Relationship with Republicans getting better
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said relationships between Democrats and Republicans in Congress are improving, but he said he feels the White House has not done enough to support lawmakers.

"We are actually working together in a pretty good way," Schumer told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview that aired Sunday. "I think this will happen more and more and more."

"Our Republican friends, I think, want to work with us. I think sometimes the president gets in the way of that. But I think you are going to see us working together more and more," he repeated. "I have even gotten [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 MORE (R-Ky.)] to laugh at my jokes."

Schumer pointed at U.S. trade policy with China as one issue that could bridge the gap between Democrats in Congress and the Trump administration.

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The New York Democrat even remarked that he was "closer" to Trump on the issue than he was to former Presidents Obama or George W. Bush.

"I was closer in trade policy to Donald Trump than I was to George Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American' Forget the Nunes memo — where's the transparency with Trump’s personal finances? Mark Levin: Clinton colluded with Russia, 'paid for a warrant' to surveil Carter Page MORE," Schumer remarked. He added that he wants Trump to follow through on his campaign rhetoric to stand up to China economically.

Trump has repeatedly accused China of ripping the U.S. off economically with currency manipulation and steel dumping.

"Months ago I spoke to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE and I said, ‘You should get tough on China on trade,'" Schumer said in the interview. "Trade is the thing they care about, and they have been treating us very badly on trade for a long time, frankly.

"If we got tough on them now, maybe they would relent," he added. "So far, the administration has not been as tough as they should be."