As legislative deadlines loom, Trump creates rifts with GOP leaders

President Donald Trump speaks as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) looks on during a meeting with House and Senate leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, on June 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

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Last Updated Aug 25, 2017 10:15 AM EDT

President Trump is escalating his feud with the leaders of his own party. Mr. Trump's attacks against top GOP lawmakers are creating rifts ahead of looming legislative deadlines. A prolonged standoff could trigger a government shutdown.

Congress will have 12 working days in September to deal with the challenge of raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a default on America's bills that could trigger a financial crisis. On Twitter Friday morning, the president again urged Congress to change voting rules to sideline Democrats, reports CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders downplayed the escalating tensions between Mr. Trump and his Republican lawmakers, saying "the relationships are fine."
 
"There are going to be some policy differences but there are also a lot of shared goals," Sanders said. 
 
But on Twitter, the president laid bare his "problem" with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, writing "after hearing repeal and replace for 7 years, he failed" to fix Obamacare.


 
McConnell, speaking at a Kentucky Farm Bureau breakfast, did not address the president's criticisms but said that he can't guarantee outcomes – then indicated Mr. Trump's anti-free trade position is misguided.
 
"The assumption that every free-trade agreement is a loser for America is largely untrue," McConnell said.
 
McConnell is the latest Senate Republican finding himself at odds with Mr. Trump, who will need the support of nearly every available Republican if he wants to advance his legislative agenda. But patience for Mr. Trump's methods may be wearing thin. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker recently said Mr. Trump has not demonstrated the "stability" or the "competence" to be successful, adding he doesn't think the president "understands the character of this nation."

The president called Corker's statement "strange" and tweeted Friday morning that the senator is "constantly asking me whether or not he should run again," claiming his Tennessee constituents were unhappy.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham believes the president's attacks are deliberate.

"The Congress is very unpopular, particularly with the Republican base, so there's nothing unhinged about it. It's a political strategy that I'm not so sure is smart, but it's a very thought-out strategy," Graham said on "The Hugh Hewitt Show."

In an interview with the Financial Times, the president's own economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said he personally felt a lot of pressure to quit working for Mr. Trump after his delayed condemnation of hate groups in Charlottesville – and said the administration must do better.