President Donald Trump visited Republican Senators at their weekly policy lunch today, even as the meeting was overshadowed by the president’s reported feud with Republican Senator from Tennessee, Bob Corker.
The only drama prior to the lunch came in the form of a protestor named Ryan Clayton, who managed to infiltrate the press scrum and toss Russian flags at the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as they crossed the hall to the meeting.
Trump arrives at Capitol; protester — identified as Ryan Clayton from Americans Take Action — infiltrates press pool shouts ‘TRUMP IS TREASON’ pic.twitter.com/eBsfHwXza0
— Nash Jenkins (@pnashjenkins) October 24, 2017
Neither Trump nor Corker had a comment following the policy lunch. However, as is standard procedure, Senate leadership took questions from reporters and reiterated their intent to continue working on the agenda they have laid out to help the American people; and their goal to make significant gains on that agenda by year’s end.
According to an aide in the room during the meeting, which was not open to press, this is what Trump had to say about that agenda.
McConnell, flanked by several Republican Senators, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner among them, outlined several items on that agenda including tax reform, the opioid crisis, Democrats’ obstruction of Trump’s increasingly long list of judicial nominees, and regulatory reform.
McConnell told reporters the meeting with the president was productive and that “the president shares” the GOP’s agenda.
“We are all on the same page,” McConnell said, adding — when questioned about Trump’s supposed feud with Corker — that the first amendment allows everyone the right to express themselves.
Gardner was particularly focused on the tax reform piece during his few minutes at the podium, saying it had been 31 years since there was any kind of tax reform.
“Thirty-one years ago, Mitch McConnell was rocking out to ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’,” Gardner told reporters, eliciting laughs.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer took a decidedly less lighthearted tone, calling the tax reform effort a three-fold lie and praising Sen. Corker for his bravery in standing up to the president.
“The reason [Trump’s] not getting anything done here is that he spends all of his time attacking people and almost none of his time solving problems,” Schumer said.
He also noted that the GOP had not asked Democrats for input on their proposed tax reform bill.