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Trump: Despite reports, McConnell and I are 'closer than ever before'

President Donald Trump answers questions with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the Rose Garden after their meeting at the White House, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Speaking at a joint news conference in the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put up a unified front Monday as they vowed to move forward together toward tax reform.

Their comments were at odds with previous reports, which illustrated the pair butting heads over various issues.

"We're probably now closer than ever before," Trump said.

"Contrary to what some of you have reported, we are together totally on this agenda to move America forward," McConnell seconded.

Over the past few months, Trump has shamedMcConnell for Congress' failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act. McConnell, meanwhile, has slammed the president for having "excessive expectations" of Congress' capabilities.

These critiques seemed to be put aside, however, as the two addressed the White House press corps at the hastily convened press conference.

"My relationship with this gentleman is outstanding," Trump said.

"Just so you understand, the Republican Party is very, very unified," he added later.

Though Trump defended former adviser Steve Bannon -- who has recently targeted McConnell and other party leaders -- he also voiced tentative plans to temper Bannon's attacks.

The pair's appearance followed a lunch at the White House; the first time McConnell has visited since early September.

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