Donald Trump has sought to negate the damage done by two Republican senators who yesterday both gave scathing assessments of the state of his Presidency.
Dismissing comments made by Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, the President said the pair only spoke out because they have “zero chance of being elected” in next year’s midterm elections and that the Republican party is actually a “love fest” currently.
Jeff Flake, one of Trump’s most outspoken critics, said the President has engaged in “reckless, outrageous and undignified” behaviour, and has trafficked in resentment in a speech on Tuesday on the Senate floor. Flake announced he will not seek re-election when his term ends in 2018.
“Privately a number of my colleagues have expressed concern about the direction of our politics and the behaviour of the president,” Flake said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.
“I think the cumulative weight of all of this, there comes a tipping point where you realise we just can’t continue to normalise this kind of behaviour, so I do think we’ll have more people stand up in the coming months,” he added
Corker meanwhile has been engaged in a long feud with Trump, culminating this week with his saying Trump “lowers himself to such a low, low standard and debases our country”.
Trump immediately proved Corker right in a series of tweets.
These comments were seized upon during the Tuesday White House press briefing where the spin continued.
Trump faces a tough few weeks ahead - despite control of the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Republicans have yet to deliver any major legislative victories on priorities like tax reform, healthcare and immigration.
Republican Senators John McCain and Corker have also spoken out sharply against Trump. Corker is also not seeking re-election, while McCain is fighting brain cancer.
But most Republicans in Congress have remained silent as the president has attacked politicians from his party and threatened North Korea and the media on Twitter.
Trump’s tax plan also faces opposition from the public - fewer than a third of Americans support Donald Trump’s tax-cut plan, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday, as the President went to Capitol Hill looking for Republican backing for his proposal to slash tax rates for individuals and companies.
As the 2018 midterm congressional election campaigns grow nearer, the poll found that more than two-thirds of registered voters said reducing the U.S. federal budget deficit is more important than cutting taxes for the wealthy or for corporations.
Trump’s plan would balloon the deficit and add to the $20 trillion national debt, according to critics and independent analysts, but Republicans say the tax cuts proposed in the plan would be offset by economic growth that would generate new tax revenue.