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GOP Sen. John Cornyn says he when he disagrees with Trump, he does so "privately"

In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial board, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that he's disagree with President Trump on trade agreements with China, budget deficits, COVID-19 stimulus aid but has always brought his concerns up privately, rather than publicly criticize the president.

Driving the news: Cornyn said his relationship with Trump was“maybe like a lot of women who get married and think they’re going to change their spouse, and that doesn’t usually work out very well."


Why it matters: Cornyn, a high ranking Republican in the Senate who is currently in a tight re-election race against Democrat MJ Hegar. Weeks ago, he chided Trump for letting "his guard down" on the coronavirus.

  • “I applaud him for standing up to China but, frankly, this idea that China is paying the price and we’re not paying the price here at home is just not true,” Cornyn said.
  • Cornyn described himself as a "defense hawk" who said he disagreed with the use of national security funds to build portions of a border wall, though he voted against a measure that would have overturned Trump's order to use the funds.
  • He praised the administration when it came to judicial nominations, Hurricane Harvey relief, a U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal and tax cuts.
  • “I have found that has allowed me to be much more effective, I believe, than to satisfy those who say I ought to call him out or get into a public fight with him.”

The big picture: Several Republicans have begun to distance themselves from Trump just weeks before the election, sounding the alarm over a potential electoral blowout. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), for example, recently unloaded on the president in a call with constituents, questioning why Republicans thought "selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?"

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