Buoyed by a pair of Thursday incremental victories in his tax overhaul push, President Donald Trump is arguing separate House and Senate bills would be stronger if Democrats would play ball.
The president used several Thursday evening and Friday morning tweets to celebrate House passage of a GOP-crafted tax measure and a late-night Senate Finance Committee vote to send its version to the chamber floor.
He also lashed out at Sen. Al Franken, suggesting the Minnesota Democrat is guilty of more serious actions than sexual misconduct captured in a 2006 photograph and assaulted alleged by an accuser who come forward Thursday.
Not a single House or Senate Finance Committee Democrat cast a vote in favor of the tax bills on Thursday, and many have complained about being shut out of the chambers’ processes.
The GOP president, however, contends Democrats are not helping make the bills better because they didn’t, as he put it in a Friday tweet, “understood the power of lower taxes.” If they did, “we would be able to get many of their ideas into Bill!” Trump added.
If Democrats were not such obstructionists and understood the power of lower taxes, we would be able to get many of their ideas into Bill!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
On Thursday night, Trump called the House passage a “Big win” but noted the bill passed 227-205 with only GOP members voting in favor of the measure. “Zero Dems, they want to raise taxes much higher, but not for our military!” he wrote, meaning Democrats want to raises federal revenues but not direct any of those dollars to the Pentagon’s budget.
But Trump’s Thursday night tweets were not limited to taxes. He also harshly criticized Franken after a Los Angeles morning radio news host accused the senator and former comedian of forcibly kissing and groping her in an open letter on her station’s website. (Franken called for an Ethics Committee investigation, as did a long list of his Senate colleagues, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.)
In one tweet, Trump called a photo of Franken in 2006 mimicking groping the woman during a USO tour “bad.” He then proceeded to suggest that Franken might have done even worse than the photo shows, writing: “Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?”
The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps? .....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
Trump, who also has been accused of sexual misconduct, also on Thursday night criticized Franken for being a hypocrite, writing of the embattled senator: “And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women.”
.And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
Trump’s tough words about Franken come as he has resisted weighing in on sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore. His top spokeswoman says if those charges are true, Trump believes Moore will step down.
But Trump has repeated ignored shouted questions from reporters about the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore, and that spokeswoman largely refused to discuss that matter in depth during the White House press briefing on Thursday, saying Trump believes it should be up to Alabamians to decide whether the charges against Moore are true. She could not explain how they might do that.
Big win today in the House for GOP Tax Cuts and Reform, 227-205. Zero Dems, they want to raise taxes much higher, but not for our military!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2017
The White House press corps will have another chance — though how the room is set up could create logistical challenges — on Friday during Trump’s lone planned public appearance when he hosts college championship teams at the executive mansion.
— Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.