Senior Senate Republicans are furious that Donald Trump may have killed an emerging bipartisan deal over the southern border, depriving them of a key legislative achievement on a pressing national priority and offering a preview of what’s to come with Trump as their likely presidential nominee. In recent weeks, Trump has been lobbying Republicans both in private conversations and in public statements on social media to oppose the border compromise being delicately hashed out in the Senate, according to GOP sources familiar with the conversations – in part because he wants to campaign on the issue this November and doesn’t want President Joe Biden to score a victory in an area where he is politically vulnerable. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged in a private meeting on Wednesday that Trump’s animosity toward the yet-to-be-released border deal puts Republicans in a serious bind as they try to move forward on the already complex issue. For weeks, Republicans have been warning that Trump’s opposition could blow up the bipartisan proposal, but the admission from McConnell was particularly striking, given he has been a chief advocate for a border-Ukraine package. Now, Republicans on Capitol Hill are grappling with the reality that most in the GOP are loathe to do anything that is seen as potentially undermining the former president. And the prospects of a deal being scuttled before it has even been finalized has sparked tensions and confusion in the Senate GOP as they try to figure out if, and how, to proceed – even as McConnell made clear during party lunches Thursday that he remains firmly behind the effort to strike a deal, according to attendees. “I think the border is a very important issue for Donald Trump. And the fact that he would communicate to Republican senators and congresspeople that […]

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By Donato