Corker says White House should stay out of tax debate; Trump fires back with insult
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) admonished President Trump on Tuesday to stop interfering in the debate over tax legislation and said his volatility could lead the United States into war, prompting a slew of Twitter insults from the president and renewing a long-simmering feud just hours before he is scheduled to visit Capitol Hill.
“I would just like him to leave it to the professionals for a while and see if we can do something that’s constructive,” Corker said on Good Morning America, referring to the debate over restructuring the tax code. “If you start taking things off the table before you get started, you make it very difficult.”
Trump returned fire by insulting Corker on Twitter, saying the retiring senator “couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee.”
“Isn’t it sad that lightweight Senator Bob Corker, who couldn’t get re-elected in the Great State of Tennessee, will now fight Tax Cuts plus!” the president tweeted.
The feud lays bare tensions between Trump and congressional Republicans that are already complicating GOP efforts to advance tax cuts, the party’s last-ditch attempt at a major policy accomplishment this year.
Trump has promised changes to the tax code will not affect tax-deferred retirement plans, the mortgage interest deduction or the deduction for charitable contributions. Republicans like Corker, one of the GOP’s most vocal Trump critics, say these promises raise expectations prematurely while making it more difficult for lawmakers to make up the revenue that will be lost to tax cuts.
The strained relations between the president and Republican senators, which go far beyond Trump’s fight with Corker, add uncertainty to the GOP’s effort to cut taxes and enact other policy priorities.