Sen. Bob Corker insists that the federal investigation into his personal finances won’t hurt his chances of being tapped as Donald Trump’s vice president — not that he’s angling for the job, anyway.
So reports Politico. Excerpt:
“In some ways, you could look at what has happened over the course of the last year — if that was something that was gonna matter — you could almost look at it as a blessing,” the Tennessee Republican said in an interview, referring to the inquiries by the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission. “From the standpoint of my finances, I will be the most vetted person here.”
Federal investigators are looking into possible financial irregularities involving CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based real estate investment trust that owns or manages dozens of shopping centers and malls across the country. Corker has bought and sold millions of dollars in CBL stock since he was elected to the Senate in 2006, but failed to disclose several of those transactions. Now Corker finds himself ensnared in a federal probe.
Corker has ties to senior CBL officials — some of whom have donated to his election campaigns — and after he graduated from college, worked briefly for a contracting company that did business with CBL. Several of his CBL transactions occurred around the same time that UBS Securities made ratings changes on CBL stock.
Corker said he had no inside information on the company’s finances.
But because of his failure to report the CBL transactions, as well as others involving several hedge funds, Corker last year was forced to refile years’ worth of annual disclosure forms required of all lawmakers.
……“There is absolutely nothing there,” Corker said of the federal probe.
The second-term senator, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, downplayed speculation that he could be chosen as Trump’s running mate. Corker also has been mentioned as a potential secretary of state.
“First of all, I have no reason to believe that I am being considered for that position,” Corker said in response to a question about whether he wants to be chosen for vice president, or if the federal investigation could doom his chances. “I haven’t expressed any interest in it and never have.”
“I don’t even think there’s a list yet” of potential Trump running mates, Corker added. “And I have no reason to believe that if a list is developed, I’ll be on it.”
Corker said he and Trump didn’t discuss the possibility of his being picked for the ticket during their May 23 meeting at Trump Tower. “It wouldn’t have been appropriate,” Corker, 63, said. “The purpose was about foreign policy and just the shape of the campaign. It was really a sit-down meeting, the first chance we’ve had to get to know each other.”
Corker even tried to spin the revelation of the federal investigation into his finances as a positive development.