Bob Corker

Corker Stopped Short of Calling for Trump’s Removal

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) unloaded on President Trump during a CNN interview, stating that Trump will be most remembered for “the debasement of our nation.”

He added: “I think at the end of the day, when his term is over. I think the debasing of our nation, the constant not truth telling, just the name calling, the things… I think the debasement of our nation will be what he’ll be remembered most for and that’s regretful.”

Corker also said that he “would not” support Trump again, though he stopped short of saying that Trump should be removed from office.

Exchange of the Day

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) gave an extraordinary interview to Savannah Guthrie on the Today Show:

GUTHRIE: Left to his own devices, do you think the president is a threat to national security?

CORKER: I think that there are people who are around him who work in an effort to contain him – that would be Secretary Mattis, Tillerson and General Kelly there as chief of staff.

GUTHRIE: That almost seems to accept the premise of the question: He needs to be contained?

CORKER: I do think, when you’re having the kind of issue we’re having with North Korea where we have a very unstable leader there, when you send out tweets into the region to raise tension, when you kneecap your secretary of state whose diplomacy you have to depend upon … you really move our country into a binary choice which could lead to a world war.

Trump Blasts Corker Again

President Trump tweeted that Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) “couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee” and is now fighting the president’s tax reform plan.

He added: “Corker dropped out of the race in Tennessee when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!”

Corker responded: “Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president.”

Corker Stands By Criticism of Trump

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) told CNN he stands by his blistering criticism of President Trump.

Said Corker: “My thoughts were well thought out. Look, I didn’t just blurt them out.”

He added: “I’ve had private dinners, I’ve had private phone calls, I’ve tried to intervene on topics that I thought things were going in a different direction and are not going to be good for our country. This is not a new thing, it’s been building for some time. And it’s a pattern that I think we’ve fought and expressed for some period of time.”

Corker Says Trump Is Trying to ‘Castrate’ Tillerson

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), “who publicly laid into Trump earlier this week on Twitter by saying the White House had become an ‘adult day care center,’ slammed the president by saying he was undermining Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and creating scenarios in which the United States might be forced to choose between waging war on North Korea or Iran or allowing those countries to threaten the U.S. with nuclear weapons,” Politico reports.

Said Corker: “You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice.”

He added: “When you jack the legs out from under your chief diplomat, you cause all that to fall apart. Us working with Beijing effectively is the key to not getting to a binary choice. When you publicly castrate your secretary of state, you take that off the table.”

Trump Mocks Corker’s Height

President Trump escalated his attack on Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) “by ridiculing him for his height, even as advisers worried that the president was further fracturing his relationship with congressional Republicans just a week before a vote critical to his tax cutting plan,” the New York Times reports.

“Trump gave Corker a derogatory new nickname — ‘Liddle Bob‘ — after the two exchanged barbs in recent days.”

“In labeling Mr. Corker ‘liddle,’ the president was evidently returning to a theme. He considered Mr. Corker for secretary of state during the transition after last year’s election but was reported to have told associates that Mr. Corker, at 5-foot-7, was too short to be the nation’s top diplomat.”

Corker’s Comments Resonate with Other Republicans

“For nearly nine months, Senate Republicans have watched their new president with a mix of aggravation and alarm. But it took Sen. Bob Corker to take those concerns public and confront President Trump with his most serious challenge from within his own party,” the New York Times reports.

“In unloading on Mr. Trump, Mr. Corker, a two-term senator from Tennessee, said in public what many of his Republican colleagues say in private — that the president is dangerously erratic and unstable, that he treats his high post like a television show and that he is reckless enough to stumble the country into a nuclear war.”

For members: Trump Has Effectively Lost His Senate Majority

Trump Rips Corker

President Trump attacked Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) in a Twitter tirade, alleging that the Tennessee Republican “begged” him for an endorsement, did not receive it and “didn’t have the guts” to run for reelection, the Washington Post reports.

“Trump’s public lashing of a fellow Republican comes after Corker made headlines last week when he starkly suggested that the national security team provides the president with needed adult supervision.”

Corker responded to Trump’s attacks by tweeting, “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

Preet Bharara: “An adult day care center whose chief resident can’t count to 51…”

What Corker Really Thinks of Trump

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) suggested that Gens. John Kelly and James Mattis as well Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are the “people that help separate our country from chaos,” a stinging criticism of President Trump from a man once considered an ally in Washington, CNN reports.

Asked whether he was referring to Trump in using the word “chaos,” Corker responded: “They work very well together to make sure the policies we put forth around the world are sound and coherent. There are other people within the administration that don’t. I hope they stay because they’re valuable to the national security of our nation.”

The GOP Tax Plan Is Already Hitting Speed Bumps

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) told Bloomberg the White House is showing “softness” on ending a $1.3 trillion federal tax deduction filers get for their state and local taxes, warning that it raises questions about the GOP’s “intestinal fortitude” and could imperil a tax overhaul.

“Corker, who insists he won’t vote for a tax bill that adds a penny to the deficit, said in an interview that he’s concerned about the early signals from the White House. On Friday — two days after the tax framework was rolled out — National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said that ending the state and local tax break was negotiable.”

Said Corker: “That’s the easiest one. Some of the others are actually more offensive and produce lesser amounts of money.”