U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley

October 10, 2017

Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa’s senior senator, has some advice for President Trump and Sen. Bob Corker, two Republicans who have been engaged in something of a Twit for tat.

“I don’t see how it’s productive, and I think that two words would kind of answer your question from my point of view: Cool it!” Grassley, a Republican, said in an interview Monday with this newspaper and Raccoon Valley Radio. “And I think it would help if the president would be the first to cool it.”

In recent days, Trump has taken to the social media site Twitter to mock and bash Corker, suggesting the Tennessee Republican, who is not seeking re-election next year, “begged” the president for an endorsement and is a “negative voice” in Congress, among other things.

Corker responded by referring to the White House as an “adult day care center.”

Grassley said Corker is a valuable member of the Senate and Republican Party.

“I’ve got so much respect for him I’ve urged him many times not to retire,” Grassley said.

Who does he believe, Trump or Corker, as both are presenting different versions of their interactions?

“Oh, I wouldn’t answer that question because I don’t know them both real personally so it’s kind of hard for me to answer that question,” Grassley said. “But I think it would be better if we stuck to the issues and leave personalities out of it.”

Grassley did have comments on a major entertainment personality — Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was ousted from studio leadership after a New York Times story on Weinstein’s alleged serial sexual harassment of women.

Grassley said his Democratic colleagues, some of whom have received campaign donations from Weinstein, a fixture in liberal circles, are not expressing the same outrage they did when reports surfaced of Trump’s treatment of women.

“I think Harvey Weinstein proves it’s not a party issue,” Grassley said. “Democrats lack of talking about it the same way, I think they are very quietly embarrassed by it, but you are are not going to hear the loud conversation that you heard when Trump does it.”

In an apology letter, Weinstein, 65, sought to explain his behavior by saying he came of age in the 1960s and 1970s.

“I’ve only slept in bed with one woman my entire life. Does that answer your question?” Grassley said.

As for Weinstein seeking to use his age as a defense, Grassley, 84, said, “That’s no excuse. The Bible is pretty clear about everything in regard to sexual activity.”

Overall, Grassley, first elected to the Iowa Statehouse in 1958, during the Eisenhower administration, deflected a question on the overall tenor and style of the Trump White House.

“I have great respect for the office of the president, and I don’t want to detract from that great respect I have for the office of the president — the office,” Grassley said.