Trump claims tax plan will cost him ‘a fortune’

Trump speaking about the GOP tax plan in Missouri (NBC News)

CHARLES, Mo. (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump’s speech promoting the Republican tax plan (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump claims the Republican tax plan is going to cost him “a fortune.”

Trump is speaking at an event promoting the legislation in St. Charles, Mo. He is providing no evidence to support his claim, insisting, “Believe me.”

Trump has repeatedly declined to release his tax returns – something every other modern president has done.

Trump is trying to rebut independent analyses showing that many wealthy individuals would receive a tax break under the proposal, saying his rich associates have called him to complain about the plan.

Responding to Democratic charges that the bill would mostly benefit the rich, Trump says, “If it is, my friends don’t know about it.”

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2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s visit to Missouri may be less about winning the support of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill than boosting her opponent.

Trump, who called on McCaskill to support the bill during his tax reform event in St. Charles, Mo., is lending his support to Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s bid to unseat the Democratic lawmaker.

Trump is recognizing Hawley from the stage, saying, “He’s going to be a great senator.”

McCaskill voted against the GOP proposal in committee earlier this month, and is expected to vote against it when the full Senate takes up the measure.

Hawley greeted Trump at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, and hitched a ride with the president to his event, where Trump is plugging the Republican tax reform effort.

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11:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is making a public show of trying to win over Democratic votes for the Republican tax cut package, even as GOP officials have written that off as an unlikely outcome.

The GOP president arrived in Missouri to promote the Republican tax plan. He’s expected to again call on the state’s Democratic senator, Claire McCaskill, to embrace the package. McCaskill, a top Republican target in the 2018 midterm elections, voted against the plan in a Senate Finance Committee vote this month.

The visit marks Trump’s second to the state to sell his plan. During his trip to Springfield in August, Trump pledged the plan would “bring back Main Street.”

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