Trump announced this month that his administration would be imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from allies like Canada, Mexico and Europe on the basis of national security.
"I heard the senator from Texas, the senior senator from Texas, saying the other day, 'well, gosh, we might upset the president".
"I can't believe it", Corker exclaimed.
"'Gosh, we might poke the bear, ' is the language I've been hearing in the hallways", Corker said.
While Trump Jr. was trying to downplay the significance of Corker's remarks about how the GOP is in "a odd place" because "it is becoming a cultish thing... as it relates to a president that happens to be of purportedly the same party", Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) was on MSNBC sounding the alarm about the state of his party.
His agitation became clear as he continued his speech on the Senate floor, and he raised his voice to the point of yelling at the other lawmakers.
Corker said he'd talked with the president about the amendment, who tried to persuade him not to pursue it. Republicans across the board have expressed concern about the Trump administration's recently-announced tariffs, but few of them are willing to potentially undercut the president.
Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor.
Corker said the ability to cite national security to issue tariffs at will, as Trump is now threatening to do on auto imports, allows the president to "wake up one morning, without going through any of these processes, and decide that on national security grounds he is going to put tariffs in place".
"We have been here a year and a half and because Senators, United Senators that are elected by people in their state don't want to cast a tough vote, they block everybody from voting", he said. A lot of them would vote for it if it came to vote, but no. If people don't like it, they can vote up or down.
"That's the words of somebody who's frustrated because he didn't get an amendment passed", Tillis said. He also asked that his amendment be called up and made in order so the body could vote up or down on the merits of the amendment. "So let's don't do anything that might upset the president", he said. "The president of the United States'". But the senator leading the defense debate, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, said Tuesday he wouldn't go along because it risked holding up Pentagon funding and wasn't directly related.