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Republicans on Capitol Hill and beyond are worrying about the reverberations of the escalating feud between President Trump and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).
The spat between the president and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has included Trump insulting Corker’s height and accusing him of having “begged” for a presidential endorsement. The Tennessean has likened the White House to an “adult day care center.”
Tuesday - White - House - Briefing - Press
At Tuesday’s White House briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders ratcheted up the confrontation further, accusing Corker of having “rolled out the red carpet for the Iran deal.” The president described the nuclear accord as an “embarrassment” during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month and could declare Iran to be noncompliant with the agreement soon.
Sanders also took a notably noncommittal stance when asked about a call from Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, for Corker to “resign immediately.”
Demand - Bannon - Interview - Fox - News
Asked about the demand, which Bannon made during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Monday evening, Sanders said, “That’s a decision for Sen. Corker and the people of Tennessee.”
Corker aides take issue with the White House’s characterization of his approach to the Iran deal, noting that he ultimately voted against the accord, which was reached during President Obama’s time in the White House.
Republicans - Back-and-forth - Time - Trump - Progress
Republicans are perplexed by the vicious back-and-forth, which is coming at a time when Trump is already struggling mightily to make progress on his legislative agenda.
“There are not many Republican members of the Senate who have a lot of respect for the political skills of the president,” said GOP strategist and pollster Whit Ayres, who includes Corker and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) among his past clients.
Ayres - Relationship - White - House - Senate
Ayres acknowledged that the relationship between the White House and Senate Republicans was “strained.”
Other more strident critics of Trump within the GOP noted that the president...
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