Trump fatigue among Republicans on Capitol Hill may be reaching a tipping point with some lawmakers.
Republicans say they are trying to work on healthcare reform, tax reform and other items on their agenda, but admit the barrage of daily Trump administration gaffes are taking a toll.
"We are proceeding according to plan," Senate Republican Conference Committee Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with GOP senators that focused on healthcare reform. "But less drama on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue would be a good thing."
Republicans on Tuesday wearily greeted throngs of reporters in the Capitol who peppered them with questions, not about their ambitious agenda, but about the allegation that Trump disclosed secret intelligence to Russian officials visiting the White House last week.
"These are what seem like lately daily distractions," Thune said. "And you just have to manage around it. You have to multitask here."
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who has been working for weeks to find Senate consensus on a healthcare reform bill he authored with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said he is trying to tune out Trump.
"I put blinders on and I stay focused on the task at hand," Cassidy said, but he added that Trump's actions dominate the news cycle and steer the nation's attention away from healthcare reform.
"It's fair to say every time you guys get knocked off of focus on an issue, the American people are," Cassidy told a large group of reporters hounding him for comments about Trump.
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said the GOP is sticking to the legislative agenda, which, he pointed out, Trump also supports. He rejected the idea that Trump is causing problems.
"He's trying to accomplish a number of things we believe in, we ran on, so he has quite a bit of support," Wicker told reporters as he walked into a GOP meeting on Tuesday. "It doesn't help to have a controversy swirling. But I can't say it's distracting us from getting these things done."
Some, like longtime Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., offered subdued support of Trump, and pointed out other presidents had rocky beginnings.
"You got to look back, look at President Clinton when he started off. He had a real bumpy road for about a year and a half," Shelby said. "Let's see what happens in the next six or seven months."
Other senators, including Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, were left almost speechless by reporters who questioned him about Trump's competency. When Corker was asked whether Trump could be trusted with classified information, Corker paused and shrugged.
"Sure," he said unenthusiastically.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not question Trump's trustworthiness when reporters asked him about the president's conversation with Russian officials. But he didn't offer any additional words of support, either.
"I think it would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House," McConnell said.
Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said Republicans didn't spend a lot of time discussing Trump in their daily private lunch. Healthcare, Perdue, said, "was the major topic we talked about today."
Perdue said Trump's meeting with the Russians "is put to bed" for him after a statement from National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, who said Trump did nothing inappropriate in his conversations with the Russian officials.
"I take McMaster at his word," Perdue said.
Other Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., want to find out what Trump said and whether it jeopardized intelligence.
"If it's information that our allies provided us with, of a sensitive nature, then that can be a disincentive for other countries' intelligence agencies to cooperate with us," McCain said.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, blamed Democrats for being overly critical of Trump's performance and he dismissed accusations that Trump hindered the intelligence community by discussing with the Russians the latest terrorist threats to airlines.
"I think that's way overblown," Hatch said. "There isn't anybody who can run the White House without criticism and this man is subject to more criticism than any predecessor that I know of. They hate him. They didn't like the fact that he won. He beat their favorite. It was a remarkable election and they can't stand it, so they are going to do everything they can to destroy him. It's just that simple."