Senate Republicans are pleading with President Donald Trump and retiring Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker to stop their very public feud before it damages the GOP agenda.
Trump “needs to stop,” Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst told Politico in an interview. “But I wish Bob would stop, too. Just stop.”
The Senate is busy working to overhaul the tax code, and must also work on immigration reform or at least address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals before the budget discussions at the end of the year, and Trump’s battles with Corker threaten to derail the effort.
“We’ve got so many other things that we need to be focusing on right now,” Ernst said. “We need to look ahead, not reflect on anything that’s been done or said in the past.”
Trump told reporters Tuesday that he doesn’t think his fight with Corker would harm the tax reform push. “I think we’re well on our way,” Trump said of Congress’s efforts. “It’s very — the people of this country want tax cuts. They want lower taxes.”
Trump tweeted Tuesday that “The Failing @nytimes set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. [Corker] Was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!” During the interview with The New York Times, Corker said that Trump’s foreign policy could ignite “World War III.” Corker tweeted Sunday that Trump’s White House was like adult day care.
“It’s an unfortunate exchange … I would like to see this end,” Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said Tuesday. “I would encourage them both to stop what they’re doing and get focused on what we need to be doing.”
“I have a lot of respect for Sen. Corker and what he brings to the Senate,” Blunt said. “But I think the president is leading in the right direction and I’m supportive of what he’s doing.”
Most Senators have avoided directly siding with either Trump or Corker, but some other Republicans hint that Corker, who announced he would not seek reelection as Trump hoped he would, may need to back off.
“Look, if you talk about an adult daycare center, I’m sorry, but I think the Senate is an adult daycare center,” Tennessee Republican Rep. Diane Black said Tuesday in an interview with Hugh Hewitt. “But I’m not sure that all of this throwing these words back and forth to one another are really very helpful.”
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