Trump-Corker feud ‘avoided’ during GOP policy lunch

In a surprising development, the big feud between President Donald Trump and Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) didn’t come up during a closed-door lunch between the president and Republican Senators on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, GOP senators confirmed as they exited the meeting.

The president for the first time since assuming leadership joined the Senate Republican caucus for more than an hour, during their weekly policy meeting as they try to get on the same page on passing a tax plan, their biggest agenda item for the rest of the year.

The Tennessee Senator who sparked the recent feud with his early morning jibe at the president said after the meeting that he didn’t speak with Trump and, that Trump didn’t reference his criticisms.

I was not a part of the lunch discussion. I ate my lunch like I normally do at policy. I normally don’t speak much at policy”, Corker said.

Asked if the lunch changed his mind about Trump, Corker said, “no.”

If there’s anything that unifies Republicans it’s tax reform,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after the meeting. “There’s a lot of noise out there.

McConnell highlighted the three main topics Trump focused on during the meeting: Tax reform, his nominations and a forthcoming announcement on the opioid epidemic.

McConnell dodged multiple questions about Trump’s feud with Corker and other top senators after the meeting, arguing they are “distractions” that garner the media’s attention.

Look I don’t have any observation about that. We’re going to concentrate on what our agenda is and not any of these other distractions that you all may be interested in”, he said when asked about Corker’s comments.

Also asked if he had an “obligation” to intervene given Trump’s feuds with prominent caucus members, his response was: “What I have an obligation to do is try to achieve the greatest cohesion I can.

Of course not,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) told reporters when asked if the “feud” came up.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) added that the president didn’t mention Corker while he was speaking to senators, while Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) added the meeting was “really upbeat, it was very positive.”

Trump heavily chided Corker for being an obstructionist, forging the bad Iran nuclear deal and delivering poorly as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with Corker firing back, saying he regretted supporting Trump in the 2016 election and thought the president wasn’t a role model for children.

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