Spotlight: Trump's feud with influential GOP senator escalates

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-25 01:00:55|Editor: Zhou Xin
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Feud between U.S. President Donald Trump and influential Republican senator Bob Corker escalated on Tuesday as they attacked each other bitterly via Twitter and TV networks, casting a shadow over the president's bid to woo Senate Republicans on tax code reform.

In a morning interview on NBC's "Today", Corker urged the president to "step aside" so as to give lawmakers space to craft tax reform, saying Trump's involvement will make it harder for the Congress to pass the taxation bill.

"Tax writing committees in the Senate and the House are going to be laying out the 4 trillion U.S. dollars in loophole closings that need to take place," Corker told NBC. "Hopefully the White House will step aside and let that occur in a normal process."

Corker is recognized as a key vote on a tax overhaul. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, he has said he will not support a plan that blows a major hole in the budget deficit. The Senate Republicans can only afford to lose two votes and still pass the tax legislation.

Shortly after Corker's remarks on NBC, Trump issued a series of tweets accusing that the veteran Tennessee lawmaker was trying to stymie the White House agenda.

"Sen. Corker is the incompetent head of the Foreign Relations Committee, & look how poorly the U.S. has done. He doesn't have a clue as the entire World WAS laughing and taking advantage of us." Trump tweeted.

Meanwhile, the U.S. president repeated his claim, though it has been denied by Corker's office, that the senator decided not to run again when Trump refused to endorse him.

"Corker dropped out of the race in Tennessee when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!" Trump tweeted.

In response to Trump's tweeting storm, Corker immediately upgraded his criticism, calling Trump a serial liar and "has great difficulty with the truth".

"Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president", Corker fired back on Twitter.

"Unfortunately I think world leaders are very aware that much of what he says are untrue," the senator said on CNN. "I don't know why he lowers himself to such a low standard. It debases our country."

Asked whether he considered Trump to be a good role model for children, Corker answered with a quick "No".

Does he regret voting for Trump in 2016? Corker said: "Let's just say this: I would not do it again."

Corker also dismissed that Trump refused to support his reelection bid. Instead, the senator said the president asked him at least four times to reconsider his decision not to run.

The new round of war of words between Trump and Corker came just hours before Trump's key meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill over their tax-overhaul efforts. Corker earlier described the meeting as a "photo op."

Corker's feud with Trump erupted into the open earlier this month after he announced he will retire. He has previously said the White House was an "adult day care center" and expressed concern that Trump could lead the country into "World War III."