US President Donald Trump says that feuding with members of Congress “helps” his agenda, defending his use of Twitter to attack his critics on Capitol Hill.
“Sometimes it helps, to be honest with you,” Trump told Fox Business Network when asked if he worried his feuds would undermine his agenda.
“We’ll see what happens in the end. But I think, actually sometimes it helps,” the president said in the interview, excerpts of which were released Friday.
“Sometimes it gets people to do what they’re supposed to be doing. And you know, that’s the way it is,” he added.
In recent months, Trump has clashed with a number of Senate Republicans, including John McCain of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
The president has censured McCain for rejecting the most recent GOP proposals on health care, including his July vote that killed a scaled-down bill to repeal Obamacare.
McCain, 81, took aim at the state of the country under Trump this week, challenging the president’s “half-baked, spurious nationalism.” Trump responded by saying that, “at some point, I fight back and it won’t be pretty.”
Senator Corker also criticized Trump’s chaotic style by suggesting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly were the ones protecting the nation from “chaos.”
Trump hit back at Corker in a series of tweets, claiming the Tennessee Republican “begged” his endorsement for re-election in the Senate. “I said ‘NO’ and he dropped out,” the president said of Corker.
Trump is currently engaged in a war of words with Rep. Frederica Wilson who earlier this week accused the president of being insensitive during a call to the widow of a soldier killed in Niger.
Wilson said she heard Trump telling the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson that the fallen soldier “knew what he signed up for.”
The president dismissed Wilson’s account as “fake news
” and called the Florida Democrat “crazy” and “wacky.”
Trump also defended his use of social media in these feuds. “When somebody says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it,” he said.