Corker: Trump Could Set The United States ‘On The Path To World War III’

Tom Williams/CQPHO

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) on Sunday excoriated President Donald Trump in an interview where he accused Trump of governing “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’” and warned that he could set the United States “on the path to World War III.”

Corker told the New York Times in an interview that he thinks Trump treats the office of president like “a reality show.”

“A lot of people think that there is some kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ act underway, but that’s just not true,” the retiring senator said, citing one explanation for Trump’s tweets about North Korea undermining Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s focus on diplomacy.

Corker praised Tillerson last week as one of several “people that help separate our country from chaos,” along with White House chief of staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Trump lashed out early Sunday morning, tweeting that Corker “begged” him for an endorsement for re-election and “didn’t have the guts to run” without one.

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

“We need people that can get the job done,” Trump replied.

Corker told the New York Times on Sunday that he liked Trump and wished him “no harm,” but said the President “concerns” him and “would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,” and cited tweets Corker said have undermined negotiations.

“I know he has hurt, in several instances, he’s hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out,” he said.

Corker said the “vast majority” of Republican senators understand “what we’re dealing with here” with the exception of “a few people.”

“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,” he said. “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him.”

He questioned why Trump “tweets out things that are not true.”

“You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does,” Corker said.

Corker declined to give a direct answer when asked whether he thinks Trump is fit to govern, according to the New York Times, but volunteered, “I don’t think he appreciates that when the President of the United States speaks and says the things that he does, the impact that it has around the world, especially in the region that he’s addressing.”

“And so, yeah,” he said. “It’s concerning to me.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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