President Donald Trump’s relentless drive to punish other countries with tariffs is being openly panned by members of his own party who say he refuses to listen to advice — which is putting their own seats in jeopardy.
In an interview with Politico, Republican Sen. Joni Ernst (IA) expressed frustration with the president after she called and pleaded with him to back off on his proposed tariff on goods from Mexico only to have him dismiss her concerns.
Politico had previously noted that Ernst is scrambling to hang onto her Senate seat representing Iowa, reporting, “At the same time she’s gearing up for reelection, Democratic presidential candidates are camped out in Iowa, hammering Trump at every turn. The heightened attention on the president will test the political agility of Ernst, who has generally earned high marks in the state but is having to answer for Trump — whose poll numbers lag behind hers — and some of his unpopular policies.”
Addressing her phone call with Trump, Ernst said her pleas to find another way to address immigration with Mexico that doesn’t involve escalating tariffs fell deaf ears.
Defeatedly admitting Trump is a “tariff guy,” Ernst expressed her displeasure.
“I’m not pleased,” Ernst she said while promising she and some of her Republican colleague’s will continue to lobby the president. “Hopefully he’ll be receptive. But right now he’s not that receptive.”
Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R) — who is also facing re-election — also expressed dismay by pointing out the devastating financial impact a trade war with Mexico will have on his border state, stating, “I don’t even want to think about it.”
Cornyn also held out hope that Trump might still be persuaded to back off the latest salvo in his trade wars he started.
“Sometimes in his frustration [Trump] expresses the intent to do certain things, but after calm reflection and consultation with the members of the Congress has decided maybe to pursue a different course,” Cornyn said. “Legislation obviously requires a presidential signature. The better course is to have some discussions in private.”
As for the White House, aides are being dispatched to Congress to tamp down a growing rebellion.
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