GOP senator: Trump's attacks on media 'not helpful' to Senate
© Greg Nash

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (R-Pa.) on Wednesday knocked President Trump's penchant for lashing out against the media, calling it a "distraction" from trying to implement the GOP agenda.

"I just don't for the life of me understand why the president wants to engage in that kind of activity. It's a distraction. It distracts from the president's agenda," he said during a televised Q&A on Wednesday night.

"It distracts from what we're trying to do in the Senate," he continued. "It's not helpful."

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Toomey's comments, which were in response to a question about Trump's recent criticism, come as the president has stepped up his feud with the media, including tweeting an altered video showing him tackling CNN at a wrestling match.

Toomey added that he's urging the president to focus more on implementing his agenda and less on the media.

The senior Senate Republican kept Trump at arm's length while he was running for reelection last year. The GOP senator didn't announce until Election Day that he would vote for Trump.

He added on Wednesday night that he didn't expect Trump to win the presidential election and his view of the Trump administration so far is a mixed bag.

"My assessment is that it's mixed. I think there have been developments that have been disappointing," he said.

Toomey was one of several GOP senators who publicly criticized Trump for his personal attacks of Mika Brzezinski, a co-host of MSNBC's “Morning Joe," which took place on Twitter last week.

Trump's escalating feud with the media comes as Senate GOP leadership tries to cobble together 50 votes for its plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Critics worried that the president was distracting from a key legislative process.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that the bill would result in an additional 22 million Americans becoming uninsured.

But Toomey, who supports the bill, called the CBO analysis "widely speculative."

He also appeared to shoot down a push to repeal ObamaCare now and replace it later — a plan that has been backed by Trump and some conservative GOP senators.

"I think that's very unlikely. ... I just don't think there are enough votes in the Senate to pass that," he said.