WASHINGTON — Leading lawmakers are calling for an end to the recent Twitter feud between President Donald Trump and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, saying the exchange of words could imperil the Republican agenda on Capitol Hill.
“I’m not going to get in the middle of this fight, but I don’t think it’s helpful to have finger-pointing and name-calling on either side,” Senator Cory Gardner told reporters on Tuesday. “We need to have people focusing on one thing and one thing only, and that’s what we’re going to do to create more opportunity for the American people.”
His sentiment was echoed by Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri.
“I have a lot of respect for Sen. Corker and what he brings to the Senate, but I think the president is leading in the right direction and I’m supportive of what he’s doing,” Sen. Blunt said. “I would encourage them both to stop what they’re doing and get focused on what we need to be doing.”
On Tuesday, the President alleged “Liddle’ Bob Corker” was “set up” by “the failing” New York Times in a recorded interview Sunday. Sen. Corker, who is not running for re-election, leveled searing criticism at President Trump in the interview and said his conduct “would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.” He also said that President Trump could set the U.S. “on the path to World War III” with threats toward other countries.
“We were on the wrong path before,” the President responded to reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday. “All you have to do is take a look. If you look over the last 25 years, through numerous administrations, we were on a path to a very big problem, a problem like this world has never seen. We’re on the right path right now, believe me.”
President Trump also disputed the suggestion that his spat with Sen. Corker would affect his efforts to pass tax reform.
“I don’t think so, no, I don’t think so at all,” he said in response to a reporter’s question. “I think we’re well in our way.”
Earlier, President Trump took to Twitter to voice his grievances over Sen. Corker’s New York Times interview, belittling the senator’s relatively short stature and writing that the lawmaker “was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!”
Sen. Corker’s office declined to respond, but a Times spokeswoman, Danielle Rhoades Ha, said “the interview with Sen. Corker was on the record and he knew it was being recorded.”
Either way, political analyst stated President Trump will need Sen. Corker if he is to get big tax changes through the Senate, where the narrow GOP majority was unable to repeal former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The Tennessee Republican also figures to be a key player if the President moves as expected to unwind the Iran nuclear deal.