By Agence France-Presse
Donald Trump has often lambasted potential allies from his own party but now a Republican has punched back, alleging that the president’s reckless behavior poses a danger to America.
Senator Bob Corker’s extraordinary weekend rebuke, in which he tweeted his dismay that “the White House has become an adult day care center,” was a shot heard round the Washington world.
Was Corker patriotically sounding the alarm about a president who could put the country “on the path to World War III,” as he told Sunday’s edition of The New York Times?
Or, having announced that he will not seek re-election next year, is he merely a lame duck lawmaker relishing the opportunity to throw off the shackles of party unity?
Either way, one of the most respected establishment senators — one from Trump country in Tennessee, no less — has gone public with grievances many are sharing in private.
Like Trump, Corker is a businessman turned elected official. He is also the chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a powerful voice on foreign policy.
Corker fired the first shots last week when he said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly “are those people that help separate our country from chaos.”
A furious Trump took to Twitter to demean Corker, alleging the senator had “begged” him for a 2018 endorsement and that he “didn’t have the guts” to run for re-election.
Corker hit back, telling the Times that he felt Trump posed a sharp risk to US national security, particularly over his comments about North Korea.
“I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” the 65-year-old said.
“He concerns me,” the senator added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”