- The Washington Times - Monday, October 16, 2017

White House Legislative Director Marc Short said Monday that working with Republicans is more “productive” than creating political problems for them.

“We know that frustration is there, but in may cases a more productive path would be to partner to help make sure Republicans get the job done,” Mr. Short said on Fox News. “And we think they’re going to get the job done in 2018 before they face a midterm election.”

Mr. Short was responding to a question about former White House chief strategist Steven Bannon, who said that he plans to support primary challenges against incumbent Republicans next year.

“I think that there’s a lot of Americans who are frustrated. Frustrated that there were promises made over the last six years that weren’t delivered on the repealing of Obamacare,” Mr. Short said.

President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also addressed Mr. Bannon’s plans to challenge incumbent candidates in a press conference at the White House.

Mr. Trump said “Steve is doing what Steve thinks is the right thing,” but emphasized the “unity” of the Republican Party.

“I’m friends with most of them,” Mr. Trump said. “I like and respect most of them, and I think they like and respect me. The Republican Party is very, very unified.”

Earlier in the day, however, he expressed sympathy for Mr. Bannon’s decision to challenge primary Republicans, saying at a Cabinet meeting that some in the Senate should “be ashamed of themselves.”

But the White House legislative director remained confident that the administration will achieve their policy goals amid the political strife.

Mr. Short expressed confidence that both tax and health care reform would be done before the 2018 midterms. On health care reform, he said senators just wanted more time to discuss the legislation to put something to a vote.

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