Congress

Sen. Rob Portman: Flake and Corker will support tax reform despite blasting Trump

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Key Points
  • Sen. Rob Portman says fellow Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker will vote to approve tax reform.
  • Flake and Corker took their public feuds with Trump to the next level Tuesday.
  • "They're going to do what's best for the people they represent" despite their feeling about the president, Portman says.
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Sen. Rob Portman: GOP enthusiasm about tax reform includes Sen. Flake and Sen. Corker

Sen. Rob Portman told CNBC on Wednesday that fellow Republicans will vote to approve tax reform despite any issues they may have with President Donald Trump.

Portman said he's friends with GOP Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, and they said they intend to support a bill that would change the U.S. tax code.

Flake and Corker — both of whom won't be seeking re-election next year — took their public feuds with Trump to the next level Tuesday even as they joined their GOP Senate colleagues for lunch with the president.

"Both of them are for tax reform," Portman said in a "Squawk Box" interview on Wednesday. "The notion I've heard this morning that they're somehow going to vote the other way because of their views about the president is crazy," the Ohio Republican continued. "They're going to do what's best for the people they represent."

Meanwhile, Trump baited Flake and Corker in a series of tweets Wednesday morning.

The reason Flake and Corker dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected. Now act so hurt & wounded!

The meeting with Republican Senators yesterday, outside of Flake and Corker, was a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!

Working hard on the biggest tax cut in U.S. history. Great support from so many sides. Big winners will be the middle class, business & JOBS

Jeff Flake, with an 18% approval rating in Arizona, said "a lot of my colleagues have spoken out." Really, they just gave me a standing O!

Instead of focusing on the president's tweets, lawmakers need to work toward cutting taxes and lowering health-care costs, said Portman, who had been discussed as a possible vice presidential pick for Trump during the campaign. "We shouldn't allow Twitter to distract us from the work we're supposed to be doing."

"You have to work with the president," he added, saying he even worked with Democrat Barack Obama when he was president. "Our job is to put our head down and start legislating."

Portman said he's not a rubber stamp for Trump, saying he does speak up when he disagrees with the president.