While President Donald Trump remains publicly optimistic about Republicans chances of maintaining control of Congress after the midterm elections, in private, he’s started to put distance between himself and GOP leaders, who he thinks hold the sole responsibility for keeping the House and Senate, Politico reported.
“These are their elections,” Trump has reportedly said in private, referencing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) roles in the midterms. “And if they screw it up, it’s not my fault.”
Trump is telling close advisers that he doesn’t view the midterms as any sort of measure of voters’ approval of him, according to people familiar with those conversations. He’s told confidantes that he thinks his 2020 bid will be the “real election.”
According to a Republican aide who speaks with Trump regularly, the President is expected to “say something like, ‘Paul Ryan chose to be a lame duck speaker instead of leaving, which cost Congress the chance to do several things before November,'” Politico reported.