- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on White House and conservative criticism of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (all times EDT):

4:25 p.m.

One of President Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters has made a $300,000 donation to a super PAC for a primary opponent of Sen. Jeff Flake.

The Arizona Republican faces re-election next year and has been one of the biggest thorns in the president’s side. He has a book out blaming Trump for problems within the Republican Party.

Robert Mercer’s check marks the “first major gift” to the committee backing Senate candidate Kelli Ward, says Doug McKee, chairman of Kelli PAC. That group isn’t directly controlled by Ward and can accept donations of any size.

Mercer has helped fund Breitbart News, which vigorously supports Trump and was once led by the president’s top strategist, Steve Bannon. Mercer also gave $700,000 during Ward’s failed bid to unseat Sen. John McCain last year.


2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is using Twitter to take a whack at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying the president had “excessive expectations” about how quickly Congress could act on uprooting the Obama health care law.

Trump tweeted Wednesday, “Senator Mitch McConnell said I had “excessive expectations,” but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”

McConnell told a Rotary Club in Kentucky on Monday that Trump has “not been in this line of work before.” The Kentucky Republican said Trump’s “excessive expectations” are a reason why the public believes Congress has been unproductive this year.

Republicans have wanted to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care bill since its 2010 enactment.

Trump’s tweet was an unusually sharp reprimand of his party’s Senate leader.


11:40 a.m.

A top White House aide and a Fox News host are criticizing Mitch McConnell after the Senate majority leader said people think Congress hasn’t achieved anything this year partly because President Donald Trump has created “excessive expectations.”

Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted Wednesday that McConnell was making excuses for the Senate’s failure to repeal and replace the Obama health care law. The White House social media director suggested that the Kentucky Republican might feel he needs four more years to succeed.

Fox News Host Sean Hannity tweeted that McConnell is “a WEAK, SPINELESS leader” who is dishonest and should retire. Hannity is a close Trump ally.

McConnell said this week that Trump has “not been in this line of work before.” He said deadlines haven’t reflected “the complexity of legislating.”

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