On Corker-Trump relations (‘parent confronting unruly toddler?’

Michael Collins takes a look at the relationship between Sen. Bob Corker and President Donald Trump. Excerpt:

Sometimes a defender. Occasionally a scold. It’s the role that Corker, the Senate’s foreign policy leader, has played as Trump’s adviser and confidante, his dinner companion and golf partner.

The relationship between the detail-oriented southerner and the shoot-from-the-hip Manhattanite has remained steady despite Trump’s rollercoaster presidency. And through it all, Corker said, one thing has been consistent.

Trump listens.

“That, to me, I think, would be the greatest surprise to people in Tennessee, whether they are Republican or Democrat, is that this administration — when you talk with them on the phone and you share something with them or you meet with them, they actually take your input into account and think about it,” Corker said. “And you can see the direct effect.”

Corker talks to Trump and his team often.

“I can’t remember calling over to talk to the president and not being immediately put through and having a conversation with him,” he said. “I can call him at 10 o’clock at night, and he’ll get on the phone. Or I can call him early in the morning, and he’ll get on the phone.”

Corker’s public scoldings of Trump, often followed by public praise, seem intended to instill a sense of discipline in the president and his White House, Patrick said.

“Like any parent confronting an unruly toddler, he’s using a mixture of encouragement and criticism,” (Stewart) Patrick (a foreign policy analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations) said.

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