It's Trump versus Corker as Twitter battle erupts
The Latest on President Donald Trump and Republican senators (all times local): Sen. Bob Corker, the Foreign Relations chairman, says world leaders are "very aware" that much of what President Donald Trump says "is untrue." He says the president is "debasing our nation." Speaking to CNN on Tuesday outside a congressional hearing room, Corker said, "The president has great difficulty with the truth on many issues." The Tennessee Republican senator, who is retiring, says Trump "is obviously not going to rise to the occasion as president." Trump's presidential tenure will be remembered, Corker says, for "the debasing of our nation, the constant non-truth-telling, the name-calling." He says "it's very sad for our nation." Corker and Trump traded insults over Twitter Tuesday as Trump prepared to come to the Capitol for a luncheon with Republican senators. Trump said Corker "couldn't get elected dog-catcher." __ 9 a.m. The tweets and counter-tweets are flying between Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and President Donald Trump. After Corker went on NBC's "Today" Tuesday and said Trump's White House should let Congress decide how to pay for his tax cuts, Trump fired back. Trump tweeted that Corker, who is retiring, "couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee." Corker took to his own Twitter account to respond, saying "same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #AlertTheDaycareStaff." Corker, the Senate Foreign Relations chair, has previously dubbed the White House an "adult day care center" and charged that Trump could be setting the nation on a path to World War III. Trump has called Corker "Liddle' Bob Corker." __ 8:38 a.m. President Donald Trump is accusing Sen. Bob Corker of fighting him on tax cuts, hours before he joins Corker and other Senate Republicans at their weekly Capitol luncheon. Trump tweeted Tuesday that Corker decided to retire after Trump refused to endorse him "and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!" The Associated Press has reported that Trump had urged Corker to run during a private meeting in September. Corker's chief of staff also said Trump called and asked Corker to reconsider his decision to retire. Trump also says in the tweet that Corker helped "give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee." Corker said on NBC's "Today" Tuesday, before Trump tweeted, that Trump shouldn't interfere with the work of lawmakers writing tax-cut legislation. __ 7:50 a.m. Sen. Bob Corker says the White House should "step aside" and let Congress' tax-writing committees figure out how to pay for the $1 trillion tax cut President Donald Trump wants to sign by the end of the year. The Tennessee Republican tells NBC's "Today" Tuesday that the tough, "spinach part" of the process is looming and suggests that recent White House decisions to take proposals off the table aren't helping. On Monday, Trump ruled out changes to popular 401(k) retirement plans to help pay for the tax cut. Corker, who has announced plans to retire and has been critical of Trump, says he hopes the White House will let the committees do their work in a "normal process." Trump heads to the Capitol on Tuesday to join Senate Republican lawmakers at their weekly policy luncheon. On another topic, Corker, the Senate Foreign Relations chair, says Trump's tweets and heated rhetoric on North Korea have raised tensions and undercut Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's diplomacy. "When you kneecap that effort," Corker says, "you really move our country into a binary choice, which could lead to a world war." __ 3:40 a.m. President Donald Trump is planning lunch with GOP senators on Capitol Hill as congressional Republicans turn their focus to overhauling the tax code. It's to be Trump's first appearance as president at the Senate Republicans' regular Tuesday policy lunch. It comes as Trump has sparred with GOP senators such as John McCain of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, as well as with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - though McConnell and Trump had a joint press conference last week to try to smooth things over. So the lunch has potential for awkward moments. Nonetheless, Republicans and the Trump administration are determined to get tax legislation into law this year, and all sides seem to think they can unite around that goal.
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