USA Today reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was "livid" after Trump equated Nazis and White Supremacists with the people who opposed them.
Now, if you're like me, you're probably not too impressed by the private displays of anger from Republicans that we only know about because they've been purposely leaked to the press. The threat Trump poses to civil society requires public condemnation.
The same sources who say McConnell was livid also strongly implied that his primary concern is the party's defunct agenda.
According to those close to him, McConnell also didn’t rush out a statement because he was also hesitant to stoke a narrative about a personal war with the president after Trump has publicly excoriated McConnell for the failure of a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The situation was made all the more delicate given that his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, was standing next to Trump on Tuesday at the event meant to be about infrastructure. McConnell was upset his wife was caught up in the controversy.
From health care reform to infrastructure and everything else in between, the ship has sailed. It's gone. It vanished beyond the horizon when Congress departed Washington for the summer recess without achieving a single substantive legislative victory.
When Congress returns from recess in September, they'll have just 13 days of session to fund the federal government and avoid a shutdown, and that in itself could be a feat of strength for this GOP Congress. They'll also have just 13 days of session to raise the federal debt ceiling and, during this time, they also hope to pass a package of tax cuts for the rich. The Flying Monkey Caucus is also demanding spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and they'd also like defund Obamacare while they're at it.
Any one of these goals would be difficult for Republicans in Congress to achieve even if their dear leader Donald Trump was not a raving madman who's spending his last cent of political capital on neo-Nazi apologia. Business leaders have abandoned him, manufacturers have abandoned him, and a growing list of legislators are abandoning him.
A president is typically instrumental in promoting and selling the policies of the Congress under his direction, but Trump is currently the most divisive person in the entire country if not the world. Trump couldn't sell a hot dog right now.
Case in point, as USA Today points out, Trump was suppose to be talking about infrastructure when he said some of the Nazis in Charlottesville were "very fine people."
If Republicans in Congress preserve the status quo by passing bills to fund the federal government in fiscal 2018 at current levels, their legislative agenda will be pushed back to next year and it's not as if Trump is going to become more popular over time. Trump knows no other way but down. He's not happy if his hair isn't on fire.