President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he is confident that two senators who recently criticized him still plan to vote in favor of a major Republican tax reform bill.
"I believe he's going to do the right thing for the country and vote for tax cuts," Trump said of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., during an impromptu press conference on the South Lawn of the White House. Flake announced on Tuesday that he would retire from the Senate because he said the nation's politics had become too toxic, and he blamed Trump for the "undermining of our democratic norms and ideals."
Asked about another of his critics, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Trump said he believed that Corker, like Flake, would vote for the sweeping tax-reform package. "I really believe that Bob Corker is going to do the right thing for the country," Trump said, repeating his phrase verbatim for Corker as he did for Flake.
Corker also made headlines on Wednesday by criticizing the president. The retiring chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called Trump an "utterly untruthful" person and predicted that Trump's legacy would be "the debasement" of the United States. Following Corker's remarks, Trump used Twitter to attack Corker for the rest of the day.
Trump's optimism about the tax-reform package Wednesday even extended to Democrats, some of whom Trump said would vote for the reforms because "if they don't vote for these massive tax cuts, they're going to lose" re-election in 2018.
So far, there are no Democrats signaling that they might support the tax-cut package, which includes a number of provisions — like elimination of the estate tax — that would benefit only the ultra-rich.
However, one Democrat, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, attended an event with Trump earlier this year in her home state, where the president touted the benefits of his plan to cut taxes.