Twitter delivered a history lesson to a CNN correspondent who may have been mocking President Trump for lending U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell a hand in getting up the steps after their White House Rose Garden press conference on Monday afternoon.
In a tweet that came with a video clip, political reporter Daniella Diaz wrote, “That hand-lock between Trump and McConnell, though.”
As Twitter — including Manu Raju, one of her CNN colleagues — reminded Diaz, the Senate Majority Leader survived a bout with polio as a child, and occasionally needs a bit of help with his balance, which the president provided. Raju further noted that McConnell sometimes needs assistance in navigating stairs because of the illness that he came down with at the age of 2.
Diaz’s tweet is still visible at this writing, and CNN itself evidently has not responded to media inquiries about it.
McConnell, 75, a GOP senator from Kentucky since 1985 and leader of the majority since 2015, joined Trump for the news conference apparently as a way to demonstrate that he and the president were on the same page as far as moving the president’s legislative agenda is concerned. Trump, a former Democrat and independent who ran for president on the Republican ticket, has on and off clashed with members of the GOP establishment that many feel Mitch McConnell represents.
The role of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon came up during the wide-ranging press conference in the context of McConnell foe Bannon orchestrating primary challenges against some GOP officeholders who are perceived as insufficiently supportive of Trump’s populist, nationalist agenda. McConnell explained that is important to nominate candidates who can win in a general election to maintain the party’s majority control. In so doing, he mentioned two past insurgent GOP senate candidates in particular who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory because of gaffes that they made in the campaign.
At the same press availability, Trump stressed that he has good relationships with McConnell and most of the senators on his side of the aisle. He also remarked, however, that he understands Bannon’s frustration with the lack of progress on the agenda, including the Obamacare repeal, and also indicated that he would try to talk Bannon out of backing primary challenges to some GOP incumbents, the Los Angeles Times reported. The president also criticized the Democrats for obstructionism, particularly as it relates to executive branch nominees and judicial confirmations.
Bannon-supported Judge Roy Moore defeated appointed U.S. Senator Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican primary on August 15. Both President Trump and Sen. McConnell endorsed Strange, but Trump has vowed to throw his full support behind Moore and even alluded to that before the primary voting took place. Moore is the favorite to win the seat in the general election on December 12.
That hand-lock between Trump and McConnell, though. https://t.co/xFClDYCmdQ
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) October 16, 2017
During the 2016 campaign, CNN and other news outlets denounced Donald Trump for allegedly mocking a disabled reporter during a South Carolina rally.
McConnell is a polio survivor, a reason why stairs can be tricky at times
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 16, 2017
Really? McConnell had polio when young, used the President’s hand for support up stairs. Mean, hateful comments.
— Cindi Vetsch (@VetschCindi) October 17, 2017
My mother has polio. I've done the same thing for her most of my life. It's called compassion. Perhaps do some research before tweeting.
— Scott Fitzgerald (@PhitzyCent) October 17, 2017
Mitch McConnell discussed his polio diagnosis in this 1990 campaign ad.
“[Mitch McConnell] also penned a book in 2016 titled The Long Game: A Memoir in which he wrote about his battle with polio and the round-the-clock care his mother gave him when he fell ill with the disease at the age of 2. As a toddler, his mother had to do physical therapy with him sometimes up to four times a day,” The Blaze recalled.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]