WASHINGTON — President Trump’s point man on Capitol Hill conceded on Monday that controversy over the firing of James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, and open investigations into Russian election meddling made it harder to stay “focused” on ambitious Republican tax cut and health care plans.
“There’s no doubt that keeping members focused on investigations detracts from our legislative agenda,” Marc Short, the president’s legislative affairs director, told reporters in a 30-minute session.
But he said they had not scuttled Mr. Trump’s legislative agenda. “The president is often very effective at engaging the way that he does,” Mr. Short said when asked about Mr. Trump’s recent tweets about Senate, House and F.B.I. investigations into allegations that his campaign colluded with Russia in 2016.
Mr. Short, one of the few administration officials with good relationships on both sides of the political aisle in Congress, said his primary mission between now and the end of the year was avoiding a reprise of the debt ceiling fight and passing some kind of tax overhaul.
He reiterated a Treasury Department demand that lawmakers take action on the debt limit before their August recess. But even the Trump administration is conflicted, internally, on the best approach.
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