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McConnell: Trump Team Beginning To Understand Russians Are 'Not Our Friends'

Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Trump’s decision to conduct air strikes in Syria sends a clear message to the Asssad regime that the use of chemical weapons on his own people won’t be tolerated.

During a news conference Wednesday in Louisville, McConnell said the strike also sends a strong message to the Russians, who claimed that they had removed all chemical weapons from Syria.

“The one thing you can be sure about with the Russians is that they’re never up to any good and they’re not our friends," he said. "And I think the new administration is figuring that out. They may have been somewhat confused about it during the campaign but I think they’re in the process of figuring that out.”

He said the president’s action did not require congressional approval.

On domestic matters, McConnell said he and other Republican leaders on Capitol Hill haven’t given up on taking a new approach toward repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

A plan supported by Trump was shelved last monthby House Speaker Paul Ryan when it became clear there was not enough support for it in the House.

After a partisan battle over the president’s Supreme Court nominee, McConnell said he hopes to get down to work with Democrats on issues like tax reform and infrastructure legislation when the session resumes.

“We had a very partisan beginning to this administration but I predict it’s going to settle down a couple of weeks from now,” he said.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.