- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Sen. Chris Coons said Wednesday Republicans are privately grumbling about President Trump’s threats to raise tariffs on Mexican products in the coming week.

“There have been a number of Republican senators who have privately expressed grave concerns about the president’s conduct,” he said on CNN’s “New Day” show, adding that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are two issues that led to Republican complaints.

“Each of these instances, there were a dozen or so Republicans who expressed some concern or misgiving but failed to slow down, let alone stop, the president from doing things that were ill-considered,” the Delaware Democrat said.

“Hopefully, this is the breakpoint where Senate Republicans … slow down our president’s endless swinging of the club of tariffs and hitting some of our closest allies,” he said.

Mr. Coons added that he doesn’t have a lot of hope in that result because “this is a caucus that tends to fall in line, even when they have good reason to have profound misgivings about the president’s abrupt decisions.”

Republican Sen. Rand Paul went beyond privately brewing about Mr. Trump’s tariffs, warning the president that running the government “by emergency” may only grow Republican opposition against him.

“I think what we may be finding is if we try to run government by emergency, is it may solidify opposition. Even people like myself who are largely supportive of President Trump, largely supportive of his initiatives. I can’t be for letting the president have all the power that the Constitution gave to Congress,” Mr. Paul said.

Mr. Trump said during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May that he will not retreat from his threat to impose tariffs on Mexican products until Mexico does more to stem the flow of migrants puncturing the southern U.S. border.

He added it would be “foolish” for Republicans to pushback on the tariffs.

Tom Howell Jr. contributed to this article.

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