Tags: Trump Administration | lamar alexander | trump | chance | succeed

Sen. Lamar Alexander: Trump Should Get His Chance to Succeed


By    |   Monday, 20 Nov 2017 09:20 AM

President Donald Trump should be given a chance to succeed, and may well improve as he gains experience in the White House, Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a CNBC interview published Monday, marking a separation of opinion between himself and fellow Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

"His Asian trip seems to have gone pretty well, from what I've been able tell," Alexander told CNBC's John Harwood. 

"I think most presidents who arrive thinking they're going to deal just with domestic issues — I think of Bill Clinton, I think of Ronald Reagan — end up dealing mostly with issues they've never thought much about."

Some of those presidents, such as Reagan, "become very good at it, having very little foreign policy experience to start with," the senator added. "Let's see if the president's style of things gets a better result in North Korea."

Corker, who is not seeking re-election, said last month that he believes Trump's legacy will be the "debasement of our nation," and also voiced concerns about Trump's competence and the stability of the United States.

"Sen. Corker's a very serious person," Alexander said. "What he says is worth listening to always. The president does things and says things that I don't do, and that I don't approve of."

However, Alexander said, Trump was elected by the people, and he's trying to work with both him and with Democrats to "get a result on healthcare so I don't have songwriters in Nashville who can't afford insurance. I think that's the best way for me to spend my time."

Trump, though, is a "unique case" and "completely unconventional," the senator admitted he thinks. "He doesn't do things the way I would do them, nor the way I would rather presidents act, but he was elected by the American people."

Alexander also said he would not say if he believes Trump is dangerous.

"I'm not going to sit here and say he's a dangerous man," he told Harwood. "He's a man that the American people entrusted with the presidency, and I'm going to try to help him succeed."

Alexander also would not speculate about whether more senators, and not only the ones who are not running for office again, will come out against Trump once special counsel Robert Mueller finishes his investigation into Russian involvement or collusion in the 2016 election.

"I don't think there needs to be one more person, and I'm not going to be one more person, spending most of my time worrying about an investigation that we have a special prosecutor undertaking, that we have the intelligence committee undertaking," he said.

"Let them do their job. I'll do my job."

Alexander also said he'd like to see Trump do for immigration what late President Richard Nixon did for U.S.-Chinese relations.

"What I'd like for President Trump to do is to do for immigration which involves race, what Nixon did for China," said the senator.

"I've said that to him twice and he's responded very well. He could, more than any other president I can think of right now, help us solve the immigration problem in this country. We need a legal immigration system, and we need to put that behind us. We tried to do it in 2013; I voted for it. It would've solved many of the problems."

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President Donald Trump should be given a chance to succeed, and may well improve as he gains experience in the White House, Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a CNBC interview published Monday...
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Monday, 20 Nov 2017 09:20 AM
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