North Korea and Iran have nothing on President Donald Trump’s true nemesis, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).
Walking through a Senate office building’s hallway on Tuesday morning, Corker was ambushed by CNN reporter Manu Raju, who began peppering Corker with questions about Trump. Corker, whom Trump had criticized early Tuesday on Twitter for hurting tax reform, did not hold back.
Raju asked Corker if he regretted supporting Trump in 2016.
“Let’s just put it this way, I would not do that again,” said Corker.
Corker did not stop there, adding some more brutal body blows.
“I don’t know why he lowers himself to such a low, low standard, and debases our country in the way that he does, but he does,” said Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
How did this latest battle in the Trump-Corker war start? Corker, once a friend to Trump, had earlier counterattacked Trump’s tweets, appearing on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
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“The president undermines our secretary of state, raises tensions in the area by virtue of the tweets that he sends out, and I would just like him to leave it to the professionals for a while and see if we can do something that’s constructive for our country, the region and the world,” Corker told George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday.
The president was apparently watching. Trump lashed back, using Twitter.
“Bob Corker, who helped President [Obama] give us the bad Iran Deal and couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts,” Trump tweeted at 8 a.m. “Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse [sic] when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!”
At 9:30 a.m., Trump was still stewing.
“Isn’t it sad that lightweight Senator Bob Corker, who couldn’t get re-elected in the Great State of Tennessee, will now fight Tax Cuts plus!” Trump tweeted.
It was then that Corker decided to go nuclear. Corker, apparently upset Trump is considering pulling out of trade deals and is putting pressure on China, made his incendiary remarks to CNN.
Perhaps the low point was when Raju asked if Trump was a role model to children.
“No, absolutely not,” said Corker.
The battle continued as the morning dragged on. At 10:15 a.m., Trump launched a new Twitter attack.
“Sen. Corker is the incompetent head of the Foreign Relations Committee, and look how poorly the U.S. has done,” Trump tweeted. “He doesn’t have a clue as … the entire World WAS laughing and taking advantage of us. People like liddle’ Bob Corker have set the U.S. way back. Now we move forward!”
If Corker thought he got in good jabs, it would appear otherwise. Privately, Republicans are angry at Corker, reported Josh Kraushaar, politics editor of National Journal.
“[A number] of GOP senators are privately no fans of Trump, but fuming that Corker is publicly trading blows & blowing up tax reform,” Kraushaar tweeted.
Corker may hear from those senators soon, as Trump will speak at a 1 p.m. luncheon with them today.
Reporting on the media war between Corker and Trump, reporters peppered House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) with questions about Corker at a Capitol Hill news conference. He insisted it does not hurt efforts to pass tax reform.
“I know Bob, who supported the budget, wants to get tax reform,” said Ryan. “I know the president wants to get tax reform. I’m glad the president is coming to lunch, because I have long believed that it’s best to settle these things in person, and I hope that they can get a chance to do that.”
Ryan deflected a question about what voters should think of the feud. He predicted Corker would vote for tax cuts.
LifeZette reporter Brendan Kirby contributed to this report.
(photo credit, homepage image: Donald Trump, cut out and colored, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore; photo credit, article image: Donald Trump Speaking at CPAC…, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore / U.S. Senator Bob Corker…, CC BY-ND 2.0, by U.S. Embassy Moldova)