'Twitter this, Twitter that, forget about it': Paul Ryan dodges questions on escalating Corker-Trump feud

  • President Donald Trump and GOP Sen. Bob Corker engaged in a nasty war of words on Tuesday morning.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan said that people should ignore the “Twitter this and Twitter that” and focus on the actual legislative actions taken by Congress.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday deflected questions about the escalating war of words between President Donald Trump and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee hours ahead of a GOP policy lunch on tax reform.

On Tuesday, Corker suggested that Trump should back off from the tax negotiations, prompting Trump to attack the Tennessee Republican on Twitter. Analysts say the latest back and forth could negatively affect the long-term prospects for tax reform in the Senate.

Ryan, for his part, did not want to get in the middle — but he said Trump and Corker should hash it out at the Republican conference lunch on Tuesday.

“I know Bob, who supported the budget, wants to get tax reform and I know the president wants to get tax reform,” Ryan said. “I’m glad the president is coming to lunch because I long believed that it’s best to settle these things in person, and I hope they have a chance to do that.”

Ryan also expressed confidence that Corker, who has expressed misgivings about the GOP tax plan’s potential effects on the federal deficit, will vote for the tax plan.

“At the end of the day — I know Bob well — Bob is going to vote for Tennessee, he’s going to vote for America, he’s going to vote for tax reform because he knows that’s in the best interest of Americans,” Ryan said.

In the end, the House Speaker said, the focus on the back and forth between Corker and Trump obscures the reality of what Republicans in Congress are attempting to do with their tax code overhaul.

“So all this stuff you see on a daily basis on Twitter this and Twitter that, forget about it,” Ryan said. “Let’s focus on helping people, improving people’s lives, and doing what we said we would do that accomplishes that. That’s what we’re focused on.”

The House is expected to vote on the Senate’s budget resolution this week, clearing the final procedural precursor for the tax reform push.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.