President Donald Trump tweeted 75 words about Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker on Tuesday morning, saying at least two things that aren’t true and two more that are debatable.
The feud between the two former Republican allies began earlier this month when Corker said Trump was treating the White House like “a reality show” and setting the U.S. “on the path to World War III.” It reignited this week, after Corker said that the White House should “step aside” and let Congress handle tax legislation, prompting Trump to fire off three tweets.
Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts,” Trump said. “Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse [sic] when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!”
There are several claims in those three tweets. Here are the facts.
Corker ‘gave us’ the Iran nuclear deal: False
Trump has previously claimed that Corker helped create the Iran nuclear deal, which fact checkers have said is false.
Corker, the powerful chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, vocally opposed the deal that President Barack Obama worked on with Iran in July of 2015 and called for his colleagues to reject it in an op-ed in the Washington Post.
He voted against the deal in the Senate and drafted the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which gives Congress more authority to review the agreement before allowing the president to lift sanctions that had been imposed by Congress.
The White House has argued that the review act helped smooth the path for the Iran deal, but foreign policy experts generally agree that it did more to undermine the agreement.
Corker could have trouble getting reelected: Debatable
Trump said that Corker “couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee.” A quick note: Most dog catchers, nowadays, known as animal control officers, are appointed, not elected.
That said, Corker did face political trouble. A June poll of likely Republican primary voters by the Tennessee Star showed mixed results, with 41% backing him and 42% wanting someone else to run.
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon was also considering targeting Corker in the primary, although many in the Republican establishment think Bannon won’t be able to follow through on his threats.
Corker served as the mayor of Chattanooga before winning a bruising race for a Senate seat in 2006. He did not face a serious opponent in 2012.
Corker is ‘fighting’ tax cuts: False
Trump’s new claim was that Corker is “fighting” tax cuts.
That was apparently in response to Corker’s statements on NBC’s Today show that Trump’s visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday is little more than a “photo op” and that the White House should “step aside” and let Congress handle the tax legislation.
“Tax writing committees in the Senate and the House are going to be laying out the $4 trillion in loophole closings that need to take place,” he said. “Hopefully the White House will step aside and let that occur in a normal process.”
Corker voted for the Senate budget bill last week that is a crucial step to passing tax legislation with only Republican votes later this session. But he has voiced concern about whether the tax bill would increase the deficit.
“If it looks to me like we’re adding one penny to the deficit, I am not going to be for it,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press.
Corker dropped out because Trump wouldn’t endorse him: Depends who you ask
Trump has also previously claimed that Corker dropped out of his Senate reelection race because Trump wouldn’t endorse him. But Corker’s staff has said that’s not how it played out.
Todd Womack, Corker’s chief of staff, told the Washington Post that Trump repeatedly offered to support Corker, including during a phone call asking him to reconsider his decision not to run for reelection.
“The president called Senator Corker on Monday afternoon and asked him to reconsider his decision not to seek reelection and reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him, as he has said many times,” Womack said in a statement.
Without further proof, it’s hard to make a definitive assessment of this claim.
Corker ‘now is only negative’ on Trump: Mostly true
Since the feud began earlier this month, Corker has said that some White House staffers are helping “separate our country from chaos,” called the White House “an incredibly frustrating place,” referred to it as an “adult day care center,” said Trump is setting the U.S. “on the path to World War III” and acting like the White House is a reality show, said he is “castrating” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, said he wouldn’t support Trump for reelection, said Trump is not a good role model for children, said that he is “utterly untruthful” and argued he is “debasing the nation.”
“But I think at the end of the day, when his term is over, I think the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth telling, just the name-calling… I think the debasement of our nation will be what he’ll be remembered most for, and that’s regretful,” he said Tuesday on CNN.
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