If you thought Donald Trump was already mad at Bob Corker chances are you haven’t seen anything yet.
The feud between the outgoing Senator and the President has been simmering for some time and as you’re probably acutely aware by now, the tension came to a head on Sunday in truly spectacular fashion as the two men traded insults on Twitter.
For those who might have missed our first post on this or who are generally in the dark about how this has progressed, allow us to briefly recap because the context here is important.
Back in August, Bob Corker (chairman of the influential Foreign Relations Committee) became the first U.S. Senator to question Donald Trump’s competence or, put differently, to implicitly ask if the President is mentally fit to serve.
“The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful, and we need for him to be successful,” the Tennessee Senator told reporters in Chattanooga, adding that “he also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation [or] that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today.”
Here’s the video:
That was in part a response to Trump’s bungled handling of the Charlottesville “issue” (which resurfaced on Saturday evening), but more than that, it was a common sense assessment of an administration that is completely off the proverbial rails.
Corker – who recently announced he will not run for re-election – took things up a notch this week in the wake of reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson once branded Trump a “moron,” saying the following:
I think as a team Tillerson, Mattis and Kelly help separate us from chaos, so I absolutely support him.
The “chaos” Corker was referring to was of course Donald Trump himself.
All of that sparked Trump’s angry Sunday morning social media rant which found the President calling Corker a gutless beggar. Corker responded by describing the White House as an “adult day care center” before suggesting that “someone” (think: John Kelly) “missed their shift” on Sunday.
Well now, the New York Times has published an interview with Corker and it is simply scathing. To wit, from the Times:
Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”
In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something.”
“He concerns me,” Mr. Corker added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”
Corker went on to accuse Trump of lying in his Sunday morning tirade when the President claimed that the Tennessee Senator needed his endorsement:
Mr. Corker flatly disputed that account, saying Mr. Trump had urged him to run again, and promised to endorse him if he did.
And Corker wasn’t finished. “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” Corker told the Times, adding that his concerns are shared “by nearly every Senate Republican”:
Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here. Of course they understand the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.
I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true. You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does.
Yes he sure “does.” And you can bet he’s going to be doing it some more first thing Monday morning if not later tonight.