Following the media's revelation that he will benefit from a particular provision in the Republican tax bill, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) sustained a negative stint in the press with claims that either he was involved with the addition or changed his vote to "yes" because of it.
Corker told Fox News' Fox & Friends hosts that the experience provided him a "newfound empathy" for the president's ongoing issue with "fake news":
“I told him that I’d had a healthy respect for the media. I deal with them all the time and, you know, to attack the media has not been something I've done. But I had a newfound empathy for him in watching how a totally debunked story” spread across the political media, the Tennessee Republican told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” as he recalled a recent conversation with the president.
Along with his own denial, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have come forward to confirm that Corker had zero to do with the provision, "which allows people with real estate holdings through a limited liability company to take advantage of a tax deduction for pass-through businesses, which pay taxes as individuals, not as corporations."
“The guys that actually wrote this bill knew I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. But then you have this reporter who says this. All of a sudden people that I respect in the news media, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, people start printing this as if it's true,” Corker continued. “A social media phenomenon generates from this and I've never ever used in my life the word ‘fake news’ until today. I actually understand what it is the president has been dealing with.”
Prior to the inclusion of the real estate holdings provision, Corker was a firm "no" on the bill due to its effect on the deficit. Though he voted in favor of the final version, nothing had changed to abate the predicted $1.4 trillion balloon to the federal deficit, leaving some to speculate it was his personal benefit that swung his vote.