President Donald Trump ratcheted up his feud with a sitting senator of his own party, who responded by calling the White House an “adult day care center” and warning that Trump could set the U.S. “on the path to World War III.”
Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who recently announced he won’t seek re-election, said last week that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other officials “help separate us from chaos.” Trump lit up Corker in a series of tweets on Sunday, saying Corker had begged him for an endorsement and “didn’t have the guts” to run again.
“It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center,” Corker tweeted back. “Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
Trump is treating the presidency like “a reality show” and risks leading the U.S. into a worldwide conflict, Corker added in a New York Times interview Sunday. He said nearly every Senate Republican shared his concerns.
“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. “A lot of people think that there is some kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ act underway” with Trump and Tillerson, “but that’s just not true.” He also said Trump promised to endorse him if he sought re-election.
Trump said Corker, whose vote is crucial to the president’s agenda in a Senate divided 52-48 in the Republicans’ favor, “is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!” Corker in fact opposed the deal, which was negotiated by the Obama administration.
A deficit hawk who also serves on the Budget Committee, Corker has expressed concern that Trump’s tax-cut plan could cause a sharp increase in the federal deficit. Although he agreed to a budget deal that would let tax writers claim that tax cuts of as much as $1.5 trillion will pay for themselves, he’s made clear he may force Republicans to scale back their plans, and he called deficits “a greater threat to us than North Korea” or the Islamic State terrorist group.
“I would fully expect Corker to be a negative voice and stand in the way of our great agenda,” Trump tweeted Sunday.
“Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it. We need HealthCare, we need Tax Cuts/Reform, we need people that can get the job done!” Trump said.
After supporting Trump during the 2016 election, Corker has distanced himself from the president on some issues. He told reporters Wednesday that he’s “maybe” freer to speak his mind because of the decision not to run again.
“It’s going to be fun to work with him,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday before Corker’s tweet. “It sort of unleashes him to do whatever — and say whatever — he wants to say.”
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