Meet Trump's favorite senator — the man he calls before dawn and after midnight and has given one of his 'highest accolades'

Before Donald Trump, there was David Perdue.

Perdue, a Georgia Republican, became the first Fortune 500 CEO elected to the Senate. While making a name for himself helming companies like Reebok and discount store chain Dollar General, he worked on every continent on the planet except for Antarctica.

Like the president, Perdue had no experience in public office prior to his 2014 election to the Senate. But, similarly to Trump, he is no stranger to the political scene. And, much like Trump, Perdue believes the Washington, DC, system is broken.

The similarities don't end there. Perhaps what the two men bond over most is golf — Perdue and Trump happen to be two of the best players on the Washington, DC, circuit.

Those characteristics have endeared the first-term senator to the president, who has helped elevate him into a much more important position in the Republican Party. Perdue, once the consummate Washington outsider, now serves as a crucial bridge between Trump's White House and Republican leadership in the Senate.

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Senator David Perdue through the years
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Senator David Perdue through the years
Senator David Perdue, a Republican from Georgia, speaks to members of the media in the basement of the U.S. Capitol after a weekly GOP luncheon meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. The Senate Budget Committee sent Republicans massive tax-cut bill to the full Senate for a marathon debate and vote as early as Thursday -- a major step toward getting a plan enacted by the end of this year. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) arrives for the weekly Republican party caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an announcement on immigration reform accompanied by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) (L) and Senator David Perdue (R-GA) (R), in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Senator David Perdue (R-GA) speaks to reporters prior to a health care vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) makes his way to the Capitol ahead of the party luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), arrives for a meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President Donald Trump looks at an executive order accompanied by Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the Treasury Department in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) speaks to embers of the news media after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Democratic U.S. Senatorial Candidate Michelle Nunn, (R) motions toward Republican rival David Perdue during their final debate before the November 4 elections in Atlanta, Georgia November 2, 2014. REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15: Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill on February 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Senate failed to pass an immigration fix, raising questions about the fate of DACA recipients. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) (C) fist-bumps Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) (R) as Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) looks on prior to a news conference on immigration February 12, 2018 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate Republican lawmakers introduced a $25 billion border security package, with limits to family-based immigration, reallocation of the Diversity Visa lottery and pathway for Dreamers to earn citizenship. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 14: Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) walks with aides on Capitol Hill on February 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. Senators are working on an agreement to protect recipients of DACA from deportation. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 13: Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and David Perdue, R-Ga., leave the Republican Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol on February 13, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: (R-L) U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), David Perdue (R-GA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) share a moment prior to a news conference on immigration February 12, 2018 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate Republican lawmakers introduced a $25 billion border security package, with limits to family-based immigration, reallocation of the Diversity Visa lottery and pathway for Dreamers to earn citizenship. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) (L) speaks as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) (R) looks on during a news conference on immigration February 12, 2018 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate Republican lawmakers introduced a $25 billion border security package, with limits to family-based immigration, reallocation of the Diversity Visa lottery and pathway for Dreamers to earn citizenship. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 23: Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., confers with aide Megan Whittemore outside the Senate Republican Policy luncheons in the Capitol on January 23, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 24: Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., arrives for a vote in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 22: Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., right, and David Perdue, R-Ga., talk near the Senate floor in the Capitol after the chamber voted to end debate on a continuing resolution to reopen the government on January 22, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22 : (L to R) Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) talks with Sen. Joe Manchin (R-WV) after the Senate passed a procedural vote for a continuing resolution to fund the federal government, Capitol Hill, January 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers are continuing to seek a deal to end the government shutdown, now in day three. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 2: Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks with reporters in the Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Senator David Perdue, a Republican from Georgia, walks though the U.S. Capitol after a closed-door GOP conference meeting to discus tax reform at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. The Senate tax bill will delay the corporate rate cut to 20 percent until January 1, 2019 according to a Senator. The move would defy President Donald Trump's insistence that the cut from its current 35 percent rate take effect immediately. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 25: From left, Reps. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., Paul Cook, R-Calif., Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., Reps. Austin Scott, R-Ga., Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., and Mike Coffman, R-Colo., are seen before a meeting of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conferees in Dirksen Building on October 25, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 20: Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., prepare to introduce judicial nominees during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Dirksen on September 20, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, left, speaks while U.S. President Donald Trump, center, and Senator David Perdue, a Republican from Georgia, listen during an introduction of the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. The legislation would reduce legal immigration to the U.S. and evaluate visa applications based on merit. Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (C) makes an announcement on immigration with US Senator Tom Cotton (L), R-Arkansas and US Senator David Perdue (R), R-Georgia, at the White House in Washington, DC, on August 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator David Perdue, a Republican from Georgia, speaks to members of the media near the Senate Subway in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Senate Republicans are gearing up to try to pass a stripped-down Obamacare repeal plan many hope won't become law. Photographer: Zach Gibson/ Bloomberg
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 25: Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) speaks with an aide as he walks to the Senate floor for a procedural vote on the GOP heath care plan, on Capitol Hill, July 25, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Senate voted to begin debate on a bill to repeal significant portions of the Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 06: Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., makes his way to the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol on September 6, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 12: Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., arrives in the Capitol for a vote on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 09: U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) listens during a hearing before Senate Armed Services Committee February 9, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on 'Situation in Afghanistan.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Senator, Georgia David Perdue speaks on stage at 2016 Concordia Summit - Day 1 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
UNITED STATES - JULY 21: Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., heads to the weekly Senate Republicans' policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: Senate Foreign Relations Committee members Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) (L) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) take a quick break from a closed-door heaing with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to cast a vote on the Senate floor October 27, 2015 in Washington, DC. Kerry met last week with regional powers, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in an attempt to resolve the four-year-old conflict in Syria. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 07: Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) speaks to the press following a meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Republican National Senatorial Committee on July 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. Mr. Trump and the senators met in an attempt to unify ahead of the upcoming Republican national convention. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 3: Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., speaks at the American Conservative Union's CPAC conference at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., on Thursday, March 3, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 4: Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue celebrates his win at the InterContinental Buckhead November 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Perdue defeated Democratic challenger Michelle Nunn. (Photo by Jason Getz/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 21: From left, Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., David Perdue, R-Ga., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled 'Oversight of the Administration's Misdirected Immigration Enforcement Policies: Examining the Impact on Public Safety and Honoring the Victims,' July 21, 2015. The hearing featured testimony of families of victims who were killed by undocumented immigrants. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 24: Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., talks on his cell phone as he arrives in the Capitol for the Senate Republicans' policy lunch on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - JANUARY 6: Senator David Perdue (R-GA) reenacts his swearing in to the 114th U.S. Congress with Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 22: Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., takes his seat in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 4: Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue and his wife Bonnie enter his election party to celebrate his win at the InterContinental Buckhead November 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Perdue defeated Democratic challenger Michelle Nunn. (Photo by Jason Getz/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 4: Georgia Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn supporters watch early election results during a party at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta on November 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Nunn is running a tight race against Republican candidate David Perdue. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 4: Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue addresses the crowd during a gathering for his first cousin and Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue at the InterContinental Buckhead November 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Perdue is running in a tight race against Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. (Photo by Jason Getz/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 03: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate David Perdue (R) speaks at a campaign stop one day before the mid-term elections at Peachtree Dekalb Airport on November 3, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Perdue is in a tight race with Democratic challenger Michelle Nunn. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 03: (L - R) Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue with wife, Bonnie, shakes hands with Sandra Deal and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal during a campaign stop one day before the midterm elections at Peachtree Dekalb Airport on November 3, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Perdue is in a tight race with Democratic challenger Michelle Nunn. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
MCDONOUGH, GA - OCTOBER 24: Georgia Senate candidate David Perdue addresses the audience gathered at the McDonough Square as he makes a campaign stop with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on October 24, 2014 in McDonough, Georgia. Perdue is running in a tight race against Democrat Michelle Nunn. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
MCDONOUGH, GA - OCTOBER 24: Georgia Senate candidate David Perdue (L) campaigns with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) at the McDonough Square on October 24, 2014 in McDonough, Georgia. Perdue is running in a tight race against Democrat Michelle Nunn. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 17: Candidate for U.S. Senate David Perdue speaks with attendees at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014. A crowd of over one thousand law enforcement, government officials and guests from across the state of Georgia gathered to enjoy BBQ and Brunswick stew at the annual event. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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"As a business guy, we have a point in commonality," Perdue said in a recent interview with Business Insider. "Number one, all we want is results. He's not an ideologue. He has not been up here in the Washington bubble for all these years, fighting these partisan wars. He just wants to get results. I just want to get results."

Their relationship has led to Perdue being catapulted to the front lines of one of Congress's biggest battles of 2018 — immigration.

While Perdue finds himself now occupying important territory in the Senate, running for office wasn't much of a consideration for him prior to his 2014 bid. When former Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced he would retire, Perdue turned to his cousin, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, to suggest that he make a run at the seat.

But Sonny, who now serves as Trump's agriculture secretary, turned the tables on his cousin.

"When Saxby Chambliss said he wasn't gonna run again, I went to my cousin Sonny... and I said, 'You need to run for the Senate.' And he said no," Perdue said. "His skills were more focused on the state. But with my background in this kind of global perspective that I've been blessed with actually, or cursed with, that I ought to think about it."

"Our whole campaign theme was Washington is broken," he added. "If you want different results, you have to send a different kind of person."

'This is a man who doesn't sleep much'

Perdue was one of the earliest senators to give Trump his support. And when Trump was faced with a mass exodus of endorsers following the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape prior to the election in November 2016, Perdue did not waver in his support.

Trump hasn't forgotten that.

"[Perdue] was one of the guys out there in 2016 who never threw him under the bus and was never ashamed when a lot of politicians were calculating about how they would handle the Trump problem," a person close to the White House told Business Insider. "When you combine a similar interest in golf with the similar background, with the disdain of Washington, and then the loyalty, I think [the relationship] pretty much explains itself."

Perdue maintains that his relationship with Trump is less personal and more professional, although golf does come into play.

"I've been invited to do some things with him personally a couple times," he said, noting a handful of golf games in which they "worked the whole time."

Trump, in turn, has boasted of Perdue's abilities on the green.

"The president told me that he thought Sen. Purdue was 'a great golfer,'" Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy told Business Insider. "In Trump-speak that is one of the highest accolades you can get!"

Trump's desire to work with Perdue extends to all hours of the day. The president often calls the Georgia senator to strategize or spitball ideas about policy at strange times such as 5:30 in the morning, 12:30 at night, or even in the middle of the day if the president spots him on television.

"This is a man who doesn't sleep much," Perdue said.

But the oddball hours are not outside the norm in other industries that Perdue is familiar with.

"This is what people don't understand, when you come from the business world, you do whatever it takes to get results," Perdue said. "Because there's this pyramid of performance and I've seen it in sports, I've seen it in business, I see it in medicine, certainly you see it in the military. And he and I came through that pyramid of performance in the business world. And so here we are enthralled in another world — the political world — that is not like that. In the Senate, if you're here long enough, just seniority is gonna get you to be a chairman of a committee whether you got any acumen or not."

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President Trump hosts business session with U.S. governors
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President Trump hosts business session with U.S. governors
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker listens as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (R) applauds as U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to hold a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as Washington State Governor Jay Inslee (R) engages him during a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump takes a sip of water during the 2018 White House business session with governors in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee (L) listens to participants as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Florida Governor Rick Scott and U.S. President Donald Trump cross paths during a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House policy advisor Stephen Miller (L) speaks with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker after U.S. President Donald Trump held a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump speaks during the 2018 White House business session with state governors in the State dining Room of the White House on February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Florida Governor Rick Scott listens to speakers as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a discussion about school shootings with state governors from around the country at the White House in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump arrives for the 2018 White House business session with state governors in the State dining Room of the White House on February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller attends a business session with state governors hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. The National Governors Association is holding its annual winter meeting this week in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R), Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (2nd R) and fellow state governors stand and applaud at the conclusion of a business session hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. The National Governors Association is holding its annual winter meeting this week in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: State governors and members of U.S. President Donald Trump's cabinet attend a business session in the State Dining Room at the White House February 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. The National Governors Association is holding its annual winter meeting this week in Washington. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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The loyalty Perdue offered Trump during the presidential campaign has extended into Trump's Oval Office tenure. When Trump reportedly called African and Latin American nations "shithole" countries in a private meeting with senators, which several attendees confirmed he said, Perdueclaimed to have not heard the remark. Later, Perdue and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansasbacktracked and said they heard the word "shithouse."

One of their "tough moments together" was when Perdue compared Trump to legendary United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, to which the president apparently took offense.

The New York Times quoted Perdue in a November article saying Trump is "nobody's choir boy, but neither were people like Winston Churchill, for example" and that he "is a historic person of destiny at a time and place in America when we've got to make a right-hand turn here."

"And so [Trump] saw that New York Times article — he called me up and said, 'So you think I'm like Churchill?'" Perdue said. "He didn't think that was a compliment."

Bridging the White House and Senate

Perdue was among a group of Republican lawmakers invited to the White House shortly after Trump's inauguration, though he was the odd man out.

The March 1 meeting included six of the highest-ranking Republican members of the House and Senate. And then there was Perdue, a first-term senator with no rank or authority in the GOP.

"The purpose of that I think, was to emphasize that I was another business guy that understood that his first priority was getting the economy going again — I had thoughts about that," Perdue recalled of the meeting. "He and I disagreed on some things. He came in and wanted to do a lot of tariffs. We kind of put the other point on that. I argued against the border adjustment tax and was successful keeping it from becoming law. So the president and I have a very good relationship, but it's one that we have directed toward an end result."

But Perdue is no interloper. He has functioned as a bridge between the White House and Congress at a time when Trump's relationships with lawmakers can be highly volatile.

"I feel like I'm brokering the president's agenda in the Senate and I hope I'm developing confidence within the Senate that I don't really speak unless I have something to say and that's worked for me," he said.

Ernst & Young CEO Mark Weinberger told Business Insider in an interview that his experience with Perdue has been unique compared to other members of Congress he has interacted with, both as a former congressional staffer and through his work at the Business Roundtable. Because Perdue is a political novice, he could engage and corral the various industry representatives with ease while discussing the Republican tax bill.

"I think sometimes if you've been around a long time and you know how hard it is, it's harder to get something done," Weinberger said. "If you don't know how hard it is, it's easier to make progress."

Perdue is active in engaging with the class of new Republicans who came into the Senate in 2014. The group of lawmakers meet once every two weeks early in the morning over coffee to talk shop. They call their club the "Bear Den."

Perdue also said many topics, particularly a solution to the undocumented immigrants benefitting from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, become more complex because certain members like to galvanize them into politically advantageous wedge issues.

"It's an easy topic to pander to the base on the left and the right," Perdue said. "And I think we have members in both parties who do that. That's tragic."

In terms of any future plans, such as seeking a different office, Perdue said he was approached to run for governor of Georgia in 2018, but opted out because "right now I'm where I'm supposed to be."

Whether or not he would potentially run for president or any other office, Perdue quoted his father, who early on told him, "People look ahead sometimes too often and too far ... my advice to you is take care of the job you got and everything else will take care of itself."

SEE ALSO: A Silicon Valley congressman says energy consumption from Bitcoin mining needs to be taxed

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