President Donald Trump’s feud with another Republican senator bubbled over into the public sphere on Friday morning with a tweet from the President lashing out at Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) over comments the senator made last week.
Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in '18. Tennessee not happy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2017
Trump’s attack on Corker, who is not particularly vulnerable in 2018, appears to be a delayed reaction to the senator’s remarks from last week criticizing Trump’s leadership style following the President’s failure to fully condemn white nationalists in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville.
Corker told reporters that the White House needs “some radical changes” and that Trump “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.” The senator also criticized Trump for “helping inspire divisions because it generates support from your political base.”
During the first on-camera White House press briefing in weeks, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about Corker’s comments and refused to engage.
“I think that’s a ridiculous and outrageous claim and doesn’t even require a response from this podium,” she said.
It seems Sanders’ comments tipped off Trump to the fact that Corker aired the criticism in the first place.
Trump was already unhappy with Corker, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, over legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia and limiting Trump’s ability to roll back the punishments. Politico reported Wednesday that Trump had called Corker to express his frustration with the legislation, but that the senator would not back down.