Donald Trump

In ‘warm conversation,’ Corker tells Trump of ‘newfound empathy’

Press release from Sen. Bob Corker (with headline saying, ‘Corker Pushes Back on False Reports About Why He Supported Tax Reform’)

WASHINGTON – In an interview with host Brian Kilmeade on “Fox & Friends” today, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) pushed back against false reports about why he supported tax reform. Corker is not a member of the tax-writing committee and had no involvement in crafting the legislation. He requested no specific tax provisions throughout the months-long debate and had no knowledge of the pass-through provision in question. Corker said he supported the legislation because our country will be better off with it than without it.

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Corker surprised by special tax cut for his commercial real estate business

The latest version of the federal tax bill that Congress is expected to approve this week includes a provision that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says caught him by surprise. It’s a tax break that would benefit persons with large commercial real estate holdings – such as Corker – and the senator has asked for an explanation.

Excerpt from a letter the Tennessee Republican sent Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Sunday, as reported by Bloomberg News.

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Trump Jr. says report of family getting Hawkins County property ‘not true’

In a Tuesday afternoon tweet, Donald Trump Jr. denies a report that he, his father, other family members and the Trump organization were deeded a lot in a Hawkins County subdivision.

Says the tweet: We love Tennessee and it’s incredible people, but this is not true. There’s a link to a Las Vegas TV station’s report on the transfer of an acre lot in a Rogersville, Tenn., subdivision from developer Phillip Henard to President Trump, family members including his son and the Trump Organization.

And here’s an excerpt from a Tennessean report on the supposed deal:

Jeff Thacker, Hawkins County assessor, said because the transaction involved a quitclaim deed —  a type of real estate instrument that carries less weight than warranty deeds — the agreement is suspect.

“I have mailed a letter to the Trump Foundation today asking them to verify the validity of this document before I put it on the tax records in their name, which would be subject to taxation,” Thacker said on Tuesday.

“As far as this being bogus or whatever, all I’ve read is what’s been reported in the paper … it’s as clear as mud.”

Note: Most recent previous post HERE.

More on Trump getting a Hawkins County subdivision lot — maybe just a promotional stunt?

Rogersville developer Phillip Henard tells the Kingsport Times-News that he got the “crazy idea” of quitclaiming a lot in a subdivision he owns to President Donald Trump a year or so ago and presidential associates recently agreed to accept it. But he denies speculation by a local utility district official that the move was part of an effort to get water service into the Grandview Estates subdivision.

The newspaper otherwise elaborates on earlier cryptic reports about transfer of the subdivision lot, which were based on a press release issued by Henard, after reviewing the deed and interviews with Henard and Lakeview Utility District Superintendent Tim Carwile.

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Trump reportedly buys subdivision lot in Hawkins County

Through a representative, President Trump bought a Rogersville subdivision lot Friday, according to reports in the Kingsport and Rogersville newspapers based on the seller’s press release. There’s no indication of why or how the property might be used.

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Kustoff invited to White House Hanukkah Party; Cohen (and other Jewish Democrats) snubbed

President Donald Trump invited the two Republicans members of Congress who are Jewish – Tennessee’s Rep.  David Kustoff and New York Rep. Lee Zeldin – to the White House Hanukkah Party but excluded Jewish Democrats including Tennessee’s Rep. Steve Cohen, reports the New York Times. That was break with tradition, which under past presidents has made the gathering non-partisan.

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Bredesen ‘not running against Donald Trump,’ foresees $50M spending

Excerpt from a Tennessean story based on an interview with U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen:

“I’m not running against Donald Trump. I’m running for getting some things done here in Tennessee,” Bredesen said. “The issues surrounding health care are real and they’ve got nothing to do with liking or not liking Donald Trump.

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Trump staffer becomes manager of Stephen Fincher’s U.S. Senate campaign

Thomas Midanek, formerly the White House southeast regional political director, has left the Trump administration and joined former Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher’s Senate campaign as campaign manager, reports Politico.

A source familiar with Midanek’s thinking said he left the White House because he “wanted to get back into the campaign world.” Midanek confirmed the new job but declined to comment further.

 Midanek left the White House in late October and joined Fincher’s campaign a week later. In 2016, Midanek was Virginia state director for Trump’s presidential campaign and then went on to manage several states for the campaign, including Arizona, Georgia, Indiana and Missouri. Before joining Trump’s campaign, he previously managed Republican Carl Domino’s congressional campaign in southeast Florida.

Fincher, who lists the Crockett County community of Frog Jump as his home town, is one of six declared candidates for the Republican nomination to succeed Sen. Bob Corker – the most formidable being U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn. The others are Larry Crim, Steven Hughes, Aaron Pettigrew and Rolando Toyos.

James Mackler is the only announced candidate for the Democratic nomination, though former Gov. Phil Bredesen has been thinking about it for a while.

TN poll approval: Haslam 57, Trump 51, Alexander 44, Corker 40

A poll of 625 registered Tennessee voters by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy Inc., conducted Nov. 17-20, found 57 percent approve of Gov. Bill Haslam’s job performance, 51 percent approval for President Donald Trump, 44 percent for Sen. Lamar Alexander and 40 percent for Sen. Bob Corker.

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Alexander keeping U.S. Department of Education on a ‘tight leash’

First paragraphs of a Politico report:

Several months ago, Sen. Lamar Alexander phoned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with a message: Back off.

Alexander, the Republican chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, was furious that a top DeVos aide was circumventing a new law aimed at reducing the federal government’s role in K-12 education. He contended that the agency was out of bounds by challenging state officials, for instance, about whether they were setting sufficiently ambitious goals for their students.

DeVos’ agency quickly yielded to his interpretation of the law — and she “thanked me for it,” Alexander told POLITICO.

Alexander’s heavy hand raises questions about who’s calling some of the shots at the Education Department, an agency he once headed — and to which DeVos came with virtually no expertise in running government bureaucracies.

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