Even as outgoing Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is leaking details of a phone call from President Trump in which Trump sought to back him off from his tariff opposition efforts we reported on yesterday, Corker’s also had to admit that any opposition to Trump by him is most likely DOA.
Corker told reporters Wednesday that some Republicans are “fearful” of crossing Trump by signing onto the bill, making it more and more unlikely that the legislation gets through the Senate at all.
At the same time, Corker is saying he will continue to pursue what he himself now describes as a pointless gesture, save for the fact it may get his name in the news, perhaps.
“He’s obviously not pleased with this effort,” Corker told reporters in Washington.
Corker, a Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he and the president had a lengthy, “heart-felt” conversation about the legislation.
“It’s a difference of opinion,” Corker said. “He feels that this takes away his negotiating ability. And this in no way takes away his negotiating ability. It’s not any different than him meeting with (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un and, if they reach a deal, him bringing it to Congress for approval. I’ve explained it’s exactly the same thing.”
But Corker said he intends to go ahead and the file the bill later Wednesday.
“I’m a United States Senator and I have responsibilities and I’m going to continue to carry them out,” he said.
It’s hard to imagine the effort, or Corker, will gain much in the way of approval or support for himself or the effort in what remains a largely Trump-friendly Tennessee. However, moves like this could potentially help Corker set himself up to cash in as a lobbyist in Washington, should he opt to remain in DC after his tenure in the Senate is over.