Republican Sen. Bob Corker says he has a “newfound empathy” for President Trump regarding the media, after Corker faced allegations that he flipped his vote on the GOP tax bill because he would directly benefit from it.
“I told [Trump] that I’d had a healthy respect for the media and I deal with them all the time, and, you know, to attack the media has not been something I’ve done,” Corker told Fox News on Thursday.
“I’ve never, ever in my life used the word ‘fake news’ until today. I actually understand what it is the president has been dealing with,” he added.
.@SenBobCorker on 'Corker kickback': "I've never, ever in my life used the word 'fake news' until today. I actually understand what it is the President has been dealing with." pic.twitter.com/f9SNjHx8ll— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 21, 2017
Reports last week said Corker suddenly switched his vote to “yes” on the tax bill after a provision was added that would benefit people with real estate holdings, like Corker.
Corker said earlier this week he knew nothing about the provision because it was included in the House version of the bill.
He had originally voted against the Senate bill, saying it would add to the deficit. Corker did end up voting for the final version of the bill, which passed Congress on Wednesday.
Corker said he had a phone call with Trump on Wednesday, in which he told the president he had a “newfound empathy for him in watching how a totally debunked story” went viral.
“He just mentioned that he’d been dealing with this for over a year, and look, I’m sorry I’ve witnessed it firsthand, it is not good,” Corker said. “I know other people have witnessed the same. I have a newfound empathy for what he and others have been dealing with this in this regard.”