The guy DOES embrace Democrats from time to time causing his people to scratch their heads and wonder WTF is going on….
President Donald Trump has long alternated between being nice to red-state Senate Democrats and punching them in the nose – and as the midterms approach, his muddled strategy is manifesting itself in tensions between key White House offices.
On the one side is the legislative office, which has in the past two weeks welcomed Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana – two of the Republican Party’s top targets in the fall – to stand alongside the president at bill-signing ceremonies. On the other is the office of political affairs, which has opposed any move that might help Democrats from states Trump won in 2016.
With a signing event for veterans’ health care legislation planned for next week, people in the White House are waiting to see whether an invitation will be extended to Montana Sen. Jon Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee, who made himself an enemy to Trump by tanking the nomination of White House physician Ronny Jackson for secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Trump himself has veered from welcoming Democrats – most notably when he had Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his House counterpart Nancy Pelosi to the White House last year amid debt negotiations – to threatening them. He derided Donnelly as “a really incredible swamp person” during a rally earlier this month in Elkhart, Indiana, for voting with other Democrats against his top legislative priorities, the tax overhaul and opposing Obamacare repeal.
But he’s repeatedly praised Heitkamp, who has crossed the aisle to support Trump’s legislative priorities including the recently passed rollback of banking restrictions. Some Republican groups have shown their support: on Friday, the conservative Koch brothers political network announced it would launch a digital ad campaign in support of Heitkamp’s re-election bid – a move some interpreted as a show of support for legislative affairs head Marc Short, who previously worked for the Koch-funded Freedom Partners group….
image of Trump with Democratic Senator’s Tester and Heitkamp….Politico