Trump And Corker Exchange Fire

It’s safe to say any goodwill left between Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and President Donald Trump has gone out the window. On Sunday morning, Americans woke up to a series of Trump tweets directed at the outgoing senator.



Corker, set to retire at the end of next year, had no problem returning fire, calling the White House an “adult day care center.”

It’s not exactly clear what prompted the tweets from Trump this morning, but the declining relationship between the junior Republican senator and the president has been public for months now.

Way back when, things didn’t use to be this way between the two men. In the midst of the presidential election last year — when many GOP politicians were keeping their distance from Trump and his unconventional campaign — Corker was under consideration to be the real estate mogul’s running mate. Prior to meeting with the then-presidential candidate at Trump Tower in March of 2016, Corker had just publicly praised a foreign policy speech given by Trump.

While Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was ultimately chosen for the running mate slot, the relationship between Corker and Trump seemingly remained strong. Immediately, following the election there was talk of Trump choosing Corker, currently the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to be Secretary of State.

The relationship has since deteriorated — apparently beginning with the fallout of the Charlottesville riots.

In August, following the president’s controversial response to the racially motivated riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, Corker ripped Trump in public comments. The Tennessee Republican said Trump “has not demonstrated he understands the character of this nation.” He also called for radical changes to be made in the White House. While the comments mimicked those of other GOP lawmakers, the denouncement appeared more harsh considering the warm relations between the two men.

Things only devolved from there.

Trump later knocked him on Twitter for the criticism, suggesting that Corker was having trouble in his home state and was asking for advice as to whether or not he should run for re-election.

Following a report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron,” Corker told reporters that Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly were helping to “separate our country from chaos” — a sharp jab at the president.

Corker ultimately chose to announce his retirement, with his term ending in 2018. Sources to CNN said Trump’s claims that Corker had asked for his endorsement is false.

Despite running and winning the presidency as a Republican, Trump has not shied away from attacking GOP lawmakers. The president has used his twitter account to attack various GOP senators, such as Jeff Flake, John McCain, Dean Heller, Corker and others. Flake, the junior senator from Arizona, appears to be weathering the attacks horribly, per his sinking polling numbers. Heller, considered the most at-risk Republican up for election next year, faced unprecedented attack ads from a Trump-friendly super PAC.

Politico released audio of Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, calling on GOP donors to withhold campaign cash from Republican lawmakers who were not on board with the president’s agenda.

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Jason Hopkins

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