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Sen. John Barrasso slams Biden administration, won't criticize Trump comments

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The Biden administration is “failing,” Republican Sen. John Barrasso argued, as inflation reaches a 30-year high.

“The American people have given this president failing grades across the board on his first quarter report,” the Wyoming senator said in an interview Sunday with George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” citing high prices, an “overrun border” and the “failure in Afghanistan.”

In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll out Sunday, just 31% of Americans said Biden is keeping most of his major campaign promises, and 35% think he’s accomplished much overall.

“No matter what bill the president happens to sign tomorrow, that’s not going to change the failing grades,” Barrasso said.

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President Joe Biden will sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law on Monday, joined by a bipartisan group of members of Congress during a ceremony at the White House, according to a White House official.

The bipartisan infrastructure deal will invest $110 billion in the nation’s highways, bridges and roads; $66 billion in passenger rail; $39 billion in public transit; $65 billion in broadband access; $65 billion in the nation’s power grid; and $55 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure, among other areas. The White House said the plan will create on average 1.5 million jobs per year over the next decade.

When pressed by Stephanopoulos on why he voted against a bill that would have helped his state, Barrasso defended his decision.

“Ultimately I voted against it because they did use a lot of budget gimmicks,” he said.

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Stephanopoulos also brought up comments that President Donald Trump made in an interview with ABC News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Jon Karl where the former president seems to defend those who seemed to call for violence against Vice President Mike Pence.

In the interview with Karl, Trump said he wasn’t worried about Pence’s safety and that he “thought he was well-protected.”

“The people were very angry,” Trump told Karl, who responded that they were saying “hang Mike Pence.”

“Because it’s common sense — how can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right, how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?” Trump replied.

Stephanopoulos played this audio for Barrasso and pressed, “Can your party tolerate a leader who defends murderous chants against his own vice president?”

The senator avoided the question, saying that “the Republican Party is incredibly united right now” and arguing that “Trump brings lots of energy to the party.” Barrasso also pointed to the Virginia election of Republican Glenn Youngkin as governor and said Trump’s economic policies are better for the country.

“So you have no problem with the president saying, hang Mike Pence is common sense?” Stephanopoulos pushed.

“I was with Mike Pence in the Senate chamber during Jan. 6. And what happened was they quickly got Vice President Pence out of there, certainly a lot faster than they removed the senators,” Barrasso replied. “I believed he was safe the whole time. I didn’t hear any of those chants. I don’t believe that he did either.”

But Stephanopoulos pressed again: “Well, we just played the chants. I’m asking if you if you believe — if you can tolerate the president saying, hang Mike Pence is common sense.”

“It’s — it’s not common sense,” Barrasso said, though he refused to criticize Trump for the comments when asked once more by Stephanopoulos.

“I don’t agree with President Trump on everything,” Barrasso said. “I agree with him on the policies that have brought us the best economy in our — my lifetime. And I’m going to continue to support those policies and continuing to work to stop what Joe Biden is doing to this country, which I believe is almost irreversibly bad.”

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Sen. John Barrasso slams Biden administration, won’t criticize Trump comments originally appeared on abcnews.go.com