Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has been a vocal critic of President Trump, but apparently the process of passing the Republican tax bill has made him see the president in a new light. Politico reported Thursday that Corker, like Trump, now believes that he's been subjected to unfair attacks by the media for supporting his party's tax reform bill.
Corker had initially vowed that he would not vote for a bill that added "one penny to the deficit." But in the Senate's vote Wednesday, he indeed approved the measure, which experts have estimated will add more than $1 trillion to the federal debt. Last Saturday, International Business Times reported that Corker voted in favor of tax reform only after an amendment was added to the bill that personally benefited him by creating a tax break for commercial real estate owners.
Corker has "significant real estate investments and would stand to benefit significantly from the new provision," Politico reported. Before the end of the weekend, the tax break had a name: "the Corker kickback."
Over the last week, Corker was forced to defend his sudden support of the bill against insinuations that the senator had demanded the amendment's inclusion in exchange for his vote. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) eventually admitted to being the amendment's author, but that didn't stop CNN's Wolf Blitzer from pressing a clearly bothered Corker on Tuesday about his motivations for voting for the Republican tax bill.
The whole kerfuffle apparently prompted Corker to tell Trump that he'd finally seen the light. On Thursday morning, Corker went on the president's favorite show, Fox & Friends, to discuss the tax bill. "I've never used in my life the word 'fake news' until today," he told the hosts. "I actually understand what it is the president has been dealing with." Kelly O'Meara Morales