President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused the New York Times of setting up Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who said in an on-the-record interview with the paper that the President has acted “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something” and that Trump could set the country “on the path to World War III.”
The President said Corker “[w]as made to sound a fool” by the Times.
The Failing @nytimes set Liddle' Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that's what I am dealing with!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
The Times’ Jonathan Martin, who conducted the interview, said Tuesday that “Corker had 2 aides on line, also recording, and they made sure after it ended that I was taping, too.” According to the Times’ transcript of the interview, Corker noted at its start: “I understand we’re on the record.” On Tuesday, the Times published audio of Corker telling Martin, referring to the senator’s aides, “I know they’re recording it, and I hope you are, too.”
“Yeah, I am,” Martin replied.
The senator, who announced in late September that his current Senate term would be his last, has been a rare voice within the Republican conference for his open criticism of the President’s conduct in office.
Corker campaigned for Trump in 2016 and was on a long list of options to be Trump’s running mate.
In August, Corker said the White House needed “radical changes.”
And as news broke recently that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had called Trump a “moron” in a meeting with top national security officials, the Tennessee senator called Tillerson one of “those people that help separate our country from chaos.”
This post has been updated.