MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images; Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images John Coryn, Donald Trump
Sen. John Cornyn likened his complicated relationship with President Donald Trump to a woman who is unable to change her spouse.
The 68-year-old Republican from Texas, who openly disagrees with Trump on issues such as the deficit and U.S.-Mexico border security but has a history of voting in support of the president in Congress, described their relationship to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.
"Maybe like a lot of women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse, and that doesn’t usually work out very well," Cornyn said.
"I think what we found is that we’re not going to change President Trump," he said. "He is who he is. You either love him or hate him, and there's not much in between. What I tried to do is not get into public confrontations and fights with him because, as I’ve observed, those usually don’t end too well."
Cornyn also told the outlet he prefers to air out his issues with Trump "privately," pointing to former Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker as having retired in 2018 after experiencing a turbulent relationship with the president. “I have found that has allowed me to be much more effective, I believe, than to satisfy those who say I ought to call him out or get into a public fight with him," he said.
Cornyn has served as a senior senator in Texas since 2002. He is up for reelection on Nov. 3 against Democrat MJ Hager, a retired Air Force combat pilot.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images John Cornyn
"I've worked hard to develop a good relationship with him ... [but] there are obviously a lot of places where he and I differ," Sasse, 48, said in the call. "The way he kisses dictators' butts ... The way he treats women and spends like a drunken sailor."
"He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors," Sasse continued. "His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He's flirted with white supremacists."
Sasse also criticized Trump's handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying the president initially "refused to treat it seriously" and handled it like a "PR crisis rather than a multiyear public health challenge."
Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse
Last week, journalist Bob Woodward told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he knows other Republican senators "who feel exactly the same way" as Sasse but "have not yet been caught."
Blitzer echoed those sentiments, saying he, too, had privately heard from GOP senators in regard to Trump. "What I've heard from a whole bunch of Republicans who are refusing to go public in saying things like this — privately, they will say these things but they are afraid of the president," Blitzer said. "They don't want to say these things publicly."