Donald Trump

Corker laments Trump’s ‘castration’ of U.S. secretary of state

Excerpt from a Washington Post piece based on an interview with U.S. Sen. Bob Corker:

(A)s Corker sees it, the biggest problem is that Trump is neutering his own chief diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and thereby inviting “binary” situations in which the United States will have to choose between war and a North Korea or Iran capable of threatening the United States with nuclear weapons.

“You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice,” Corker told me in a phone interview Friday. “The tweets — yes, you raise tension in the region [and] it’s very irresponsible. But it’s the first part” — the “castration” of Tillerson — “that I am most exercised about.”

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Update on rhetoric rumble between ‘Liddle Bob Corker” and ‘World War III’ Trump

In a Tuesday tweet, President Donald Trump declared that “Liddle Bob Corker” was “made to sound a fool” in an interview the Tennessee Republican gave the New York Times, wherein the senator – among other things – suggested that Trump is on “a path to World War III.”

The presidential tweet: “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!”

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Trump-Corker feud escalates to back-and-forth trashing tweets

President Donald Trump said in Twitter posts Sunday that Sen. Bob Corker “begged” him for a reelection endorsement and, after Trump refused, the senator “didn’t have the guts to run.” Corker’s chief of staff, Todd Womick, says that’s not true.

And Corker himself had this as a responsive tweet to Trump’s claim: It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.

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Corker: Trump and ‘tremendous frustration’ create ‘a very volatile mix’

Excerpt from U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s interview Sunday on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, responding to a question on whether his retirement announcement on the same day that Roy Moore defeated Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama Republican U.S. Senate primary symbolizes a shift in the GOP:

“Well, there’s a lot happening, no question. I think the election in Alabama… There were some things around Luther’s ascendancy that people resented. Let’s face it. He knows that. And so I think, uh, I hope that the election of the type of candidate that was elected there doesn’t say that much about the Republican Party. I think it’s more about the resentment that people have towards the fact that they don’t see Washington solving problems.

“And, you know, the president’s helped with that by, you know, mocking the leadership on both sides of the aisle. But I think it was an outgrowth of tremendous frustration with Washington. And let’s face it, Chuck, people have a lot of frustration with their state in life, right? And so, you combine those two together and it creates a very volatile mix.”

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Breitbart bashes ‘Strange’s swamp pal’ (Corker) for Alabama ‘sweetheart deal’

Breitbart News — headed by President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon – is tying Sen. Bob Corker’s business dealings into its reporting on this week’s Republican U.S. Senate runoff primary in Alabama.

Breitbart is promoting Roy Moore over Sen. Luther Strange in the race. Corker is backing Strange and reportedly urged President Trump to personally campaign for Strange, as he did on Friday.

Referring to Corker as “Strange’s swamp pal” in its second report on the subject, the arch-conservative news service says the Tennessee senator “is set to receive more money each year from Alabama taxpayers from the sweetheart deal in an Alabama retail development arranged by a law firm that is a big donor to Strange’s Senate campaign than he receives from his salary as a United States senator.”

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On Corker, Trump and Alabama’s Moore-Strange runoff

The Washington Post has a quote attributed to Tennessee U.S. Sen. Bob Corker when he urged President Donald Trump to campaign in Alabama for Sen. Luther Strange in a Republican primary runoff election set for Tuesday:

“You’ve got to go,” the Tennessee Republican told Trump, according to people briefed on the exchange. “We need you there.”

That’s part of a story on how Washington Republican leaders persuaded Trump to campaign in Alabama, despite the president’s misgivings.

And here’s an excerpt from a Roll Call article this week:

When Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker asked President Donald Trump to campaign for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Senate Republican runoff, he might have had a little self-preservation in mind.

A win by Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, would throw a wrench into the deliberative body in which the moderate Tennessee Republican serves. But a Moore victory could also embolden primary challengers to other sitting senators, like Corker.

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Trump picks 4 nominees to TVA board (1 from TN)

The White House announced today that President Donald Trump will nominate four men to fill vacancies on the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors – one each from the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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Trump reported backing Corker’s reelection

Media reports on Monday suggest that President Donald Trump, despite his much-publicized disputes with Sen. Bob Corker, is encouraging the Tennessean to seek another term in office. Corker, of course, says he’s undecided about whether to run for reelection.

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Trump following Corker’s advice in Alabama campaign?

Excerpt from a Politico report on President Donald Trump’s decision to campaign in Alabama for Sen. Luther Strange, who may be an underdog to controversial former judge Roy Moore in an upcoming special Republican primary runoff election for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

Trump’s unexpected move sets the stage for a showdown between the president and his recently departed chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who is all-in for Moore. Bannon has cast the Alabama race as an important clash between grass-roots conservatives and the Washington establishment — and a test for whether other incumbent senators can be successfully challenged by insurgents in 2018.

… Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who is up for reelection in 2018 and faces the prospect of a primary challenge, spoke extensively with Trump on Friday. According to two people familiar with the conversation, Corker told Trump that Strange’s fate hinged on the president going to bat for him.

… The save-Strange campaign comes at a time of growing concern in the GOP that lawmakers up for reelection in 2018 will face treacherous primary fights that divert party resources from unseating Democrats. Bannon has described the Alabama race as the initial front in a midterm war aimed at undermining McConnell.

A Moore win, Bannon has argued, could open the floodgates for conservative insurgents in states like Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee. The addition of truculent conservatives backed by Bannon to the Senate could also make it more difficult for McConnell to corral his conference.


Corker-Trump peace talk deemed ‘very productive’

President Donald Trump and Sen. Bob Corker met for more than an hour at the White House on Friday for what the senator’s office described as a “very productive discussion” that covered a broad range of topics, reports Michael Collins.

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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