Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday called Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) a “particularly important part of the budget debate” and declined to comment on Corker’s remarkably critical remarks about President Donald Trump.
“Sen. Corker is a valuable member of the Senate Republican caucus,” McConnell said, according to Associated Press reporter Adam Beam. “He’s also on the budget committee and a particularly important player as we move to the floor on the budget next week and he’s an important part of our team.”
Asked to respond to Corker’s criticisms of the President, McConnell said, “He’s an important part of our team and he’s a particularly important part of the budget debate which will be on the floor next week.”
Corker announced in September that he will retire in 2018, but until then, he remains in the Senate, and suggested last week that he would be willing to vote against a Republican tax plan if it increases the deficit.
Trump on Sunday claimed Corker “begged” him for an endorsement and “didn’t have the guts” to run without one.
Corker responded by calling the White House “an adult day care center.”
His chief of staff Todd Womack said Trump called Corker “early last week and asked him to reconsider his decision not to seek re-election and reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him, as he has said many times.”
On top of that, Corker told the New York Times that he worried Trump could set the United States “on the path to World War III” and has undermined “negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out.”
“Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here,” Corker said, suggesting that other Republican senators share his concerns. “I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him.”