GOP Sen. Bob Corker Considering Retiring In 2018

Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., questions State Department Under Secretary for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, Jr., as he testifies at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 5, 2016, on recent Iranian actions and implementation of the nuclear deal. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) told CNN last week that he has not yet decided whether he will run for re-election in 2018.

“As far as what am I going to do in the future, I’m still contemplating the future,” Corker told CNN in an interview published Monday morning. “It’s a tremendous privilege to do what I do, and to weigh in on the big issues. … But I have not decided what I’m going to do in the future.”

Corker’s comments to CNN confirm President Donald Trump’s claim that the senator has been discussing whether he should retire. The senator told CNN that he likely spoke with Trump about his deliberations on re-election.

“Oh, I mean, I talk to the President about almost everything,” Corker said. “We spend a lot of time together. We play golf. We, you know, they talked to me about being potentially vice president, secretary of state, so I’ve had multiple conversations about the future with lots of people. So, I’m sure when we played golf, the topic came up.”

In August, after  Trump’s failure to condemn white nationalists in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Corker criticized Trump’s management style, arguing that the White House needs “radical changes.”

In response, Trump tweeted that Corker had asked him whether he should run in 2018 and suggested that Corker is unpopular in Tennessee.

Corker seemed unfazed by Trump’s tweet, telling CNN, “I thought his tweet was fine.” And he did not back down from his criticism of the Trump administration.

“I don’t make comments like the ones I’ve made without thinking them through in advance,” he told CNN.