Trump lashes back at Sen. Bob Corker: ‘Tennessee not happy!’

Trump took to Twitter to lash back at Corker over the senator’s comments that the president has not shown the competence to lead.

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The White House fired back at Sen. Bob Corker on Thursday for his remarks last week that President Trump doesn’t understand the character of the nation and has not shown the competence to lead.
USA TODAY

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters after a security briefing at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017.(Photo: Evan Vucci / AP)

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday morning to lash back at U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee over the senator’s comments last week that the president doesn’t understand the character of the nation and has not shown the competence to lead.

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A leading Republican senator says Donald Trump has not yet shown the stability or competence required for an American president to succeed. (Aug. 17)
AP

Trump, at 8:25 a.m. EST, tweeted: 

“Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!”

A spokesperson for Corker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Corker has not said whether he will run for a third Senate term in 2018. Meanwhile, some on the populist, tea-party wing of the party, including former state Rep. Joe Carr, are considering a primary challenge to Corker. 

Trump’s Tweet came as Corker’s comments have gotten increasing airtime following the violence at white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Va. on the weekend of Aug. 12 and Trump’s campaign-style rally in Phoenix this week. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about Corker’s comments during Thursday’s White House briefing.

“That’s a ridiculous and outrageous claim and doesn’t dignify a response from this podium,” she said.

Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!

Corker has walked a fine line with Trump, both praising and criticizing the president since the New York real estate developer entered the political scene and more recently the White House.

More: Sometimes a defender, sometimes a critic: Sen. Bob Corker has Trump’s ear

During last year’s presidential election, Corker provided foreign policy advice to Trump, which has continued since Trump’s inauguration.

Glad to be at the @WhiteHouse with @realDonaldTrump this week to work through some important foreign policy matters. pic.twitter.com/Oo4OIvJlIw

After news broke about Trump’s vulgar comments about women, Corker said the billionaire’s remarks “very inappropriate and offensive” while calling for for an apology.

Prior to Trump’s selection of Mike Pence, the Tennessee senator was among the shortlist of potential vice presidential candidates. Corker later was considered a potential pick for Secretary of State before the job was ultimately given to Rex Tillerson.

In May, Corker said the White House was “in a downward spiral” and needed to get under control after news broke that Trump revealed classified information to high-ranking Russian officials. 

Later that month, Corker hailed Trump’s first international trip as president, with the former Chattanooga mayor saying he could not be more pleased.

When Trump criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this month, both Corker and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander rushed to the Kentucky Republican’s defense. 

Trump and Corker’s relationship reportedly became more strained over a bipartisan bill to sanction Russia. 

In April, Nashville attorney and Iraq War veteran James Mackler, a Democrat, launched a campaign for the seat held by Corker. 

An August poll commissioned by a group fighting Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act found only 34 percent of 663 registered voters approved of Corker’s job performance. Corker’s staff questioned the poll’s methodology, slamming it as a “push poll” conducted by a liberal polling firm.

This is a developing story. 

Reach Joey Garrison at 615-259-8236, jgarrison@tennessean.com and on Twitter @joeygarrison.

 

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Sen. Bob Corker speaks in Nashville a day after he said in Chattanooga that Trump lacks the competence to lead the nation.
Shelley Mays/The Tennessean