GOP senators’ frustration with Trump — and each other — boils over


A party lunch devolved into heated arguments over whether the GOP would take on Trump’s tariffs.

GOP infighting reached a new level on Wednesday, with Sen. Lindsey Graham berating Sen. Bob Corker for pushing his amendment that would allow Congress to block President Donald Trump’s tariffs, according to attendees and people briefed on the exchange.

Corker (R-Tenn.) has been on a rampage this week over the Senate GOP’s reluctance to vote on his amendment. And in a private party lunch on Wednesday as most Republicans blamed Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for blocking amendments to a defense bill, Corker defended Paul and argued that his blockade was being used as an excuse for the rest of the party to avoid other amendment votes.

Graham, who has been blocking Paul, then jumped in. The South Carolina senator, who has argued Republicans should give Trump room to negotiate on trade, unloaded on Corker. Graham was irked over Corker’s speech in which he said the GOP doesn’t want to “do anything that might upset the president, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

“You don’t care about the Republican Party because you’re leaving,” Graham told Corker, who is retiring.

Graham later apologized to Corker, according to Republicans. And Corker told Graham: “If you had heard the whole speech you would have been applauding.”


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