In an interview with Politico, West Virginia senator Joe Manchin opened up about his political relationship with the president and Party opposite Donald Trump.
Manchin said that in just two months since Trump was sworn in as commander-in-chief, he has had more one-on-one time with Trump than he ever did with former president Barack Obama.
“I’ve had more personal time with Trump in two months than I had with [Barack] Obama in eight years,” Manchin said.
Trump’s openness to speaking to his D.C. brothers and sisters has opened the eyes of some, including Manchin. “I can call Donald Trump now, and he’ll probably pick up,” Manchin explained. “He picks up his phone. If you’ve got his number, he’ll talk to you. Damnedest thing I ever seen in my life.”
Post-election, Manchin received an unexpected phone call from Trump on Thanksgiving weekend, wherein the president-elect explained to the Democratic senator that he was excited to reach across the aisle and compromise on policy.
Whether in congressional settings or through the cabinet confirmation process, Manchin has been one of Trump’s few Democratic allies.
Manchin went as far as calling the boycott of Trump’s inauguration “uncalled for” by his Democratic colleagues, while voting in favor of most of Trump’s cabinet selection, despite partisan pressure.
Manchin’s friendliness towards Trump has seen opposition in his state slowly burning deeper, with a fight surely on its way in 2018.
Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said, “Our position is that Democrats in red states are shooting themselves in the foot for the November 2018 election if they are not fighting Trump.”
However, Connecticut senator and fellow Democrat, Chris Murphy retorted, “If you want to have a Democratic Party in places like West Virginia, you have to be happy about somebody like Joe Manchin, right?”
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