Sen. Bob Corker has empathy for President Donald Trump.
Recent media coverage about the legislator suggested Corker changed his mind to support the GOP tax plan because he personally gains from it. That’s “fake news,” Corker says, sounding a bit like his counterpart in the executive branch of the federal government.
Corker, who has been a harsh critic of Trump in the past, told Fox News’ Fox & Friends on Thursday that his recent tangle with the media has altered his view on the president’s crusade against the media.
Corker is referring to the so-called “Corker kickback” story that ran over the weekend in the International Business Times. The piece said the GOP inserted a tax break for that would benefit large holders of real estate during the final reconcilation negotiations between Republicans in the House and Senate. It suggested that this real estate tax break, which Corker and a handful of other Republicans would would benefit from, bought his vote. The provision allows owners of large real estate holdings through LLCs to deduct a percentage of their “pass through” income from their taxes.
The provision was added by the House. Corker has repeatedly said the provision had nothing to do with his decision to support the GOP tax plan, which was approved by the Senate on Wednesday.
“We had a warm conversations about numbers of issues,” Corker said of his recent conversation with Trump. “I told him that I’d had a healthy respect for the media. I deal with them all the time and, you know, to attack the media has not been something I’ve done. But I had a newfound empathy for him in watching how a totally debunked story, debunked by everybody involved, Orrin Hatch, Kevin Brady, the guys who actually wrote this bill knew I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. But then you have this reporter who says this; all of sudden people I respect in the news media, um New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post people start printing this as if it’s true. A social media phenomenon generates from this, and I never, ever in my life have used the word fake news until today.”