President Donald Trump finally responded to Sen. Bob Corker’s assessment that he’s not shown ‘the stability nor some of the competence’ it takes to lead the country with a warning shot on Twitter this morning that referenced the Republican’s upcoming election.
Trump intimated that he’d give Corker the ‘Jeff Flake’ treatment and endorse one of his Republican challengers if he keeps up the criticism.
The lawmaker chairs the upper chamber’s Foreign Relations Committee and is up for reelection next year in Tennessee.
‘Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!’ Trump said in an ominous tweet.
Flake said Wednesday that Trump was ‘inviting’ a challenger of his own in 2020 with his recent behavior.
President Donald Trump finally responded to Sen. Bob Corker’s assessment that he’s not shown ‘the stability nor some of the competence’ it takes to lead the country with a warning shot on Twitter this morning that referenced the Republican’s upcoming election
‘Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!’ Trump said in an ominous tweet
The lawmaker chairs the upper chamber’s Foreign Relations Committee and is up for reelection next year in Tennessee
Trump traveled to Flake’s home state on Tuesday for a rally where he took aim at Arizona’s two sitting senators. Both are Republicans.
He’s attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly, lobbed grenades at House Speaker Paul Ryan and mused that he’d shut down the government if Congress doesn’t give him the border wall funding he demanded.
‘The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,’ Corker, who was on Trump’s short list for VP, assessed last week.
The president refused to ‘mention any names’ on Tuesday evening as he went on a rant against Obamacare repeal, which failed by one vote in the Senate, while clearly making reference to Sen. John McCain.
McCain, who was diagnosed in the midst of the healthcare debate with brain cancer, rushed back to Washington to vote on a set of Obamacare repeal measures. He lent his name to a procedural move that allowed voting to begin but tanked the GOP’s repeal efforts in the end by withholding his support.
Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine crossed party lines with McCain to keep the ‘skinny repeal’ measure from becoming law.
‘One vote. Speak to your senator,’ Trump said Tuesday in McCain’s home state.
Tearing into Flake, who voted for the bill but has angered Trump on other fronts, the Republican president said Arizona’s ‘other senator who is weak on borders, weak on crime.’
‘So I won’t’ talk about him,’ Trump proclaimed. ‘Nobody wants me to talk about him. Nobody knows who the hell he is. So now — I haven’t mentioned any names — so now everybody is happy.’
Trump intimated that he’d give Corker the ‘Jeff Flake’ treatment and endorse one of his challengers if he keeps up the criticism. Flake (pictured) meanwhile said Trump is inviting a challenger of his own in 2020.
The week before, Trump made a similar attack on Flake and called him a ‘nonfactor in the Senate.’ In an unusual move for a sitting president, Trump also endorsed one of Flake’s primary opponents, Kelli Ward.
Flake hit back at Trump in a New York Times op-ed that rejected the president’s move to alter the nation’s immigration system into a merit-based approval process.
A member of Senate’s so-called Gang of Eight, just like McCain, Flake seeks reforms that would make it easier for easier for unskilled workers who came to America illegally to remain in the country.
‘There must always be a place in America for those whose only initial credentials are a strong back and an eagerness to use it,’ Flake wrote in the Times.
A day after Trump’s Phoenix rally, which drew loud criticism over his demeanor and led former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to question his ‘fitness’ for office, Flake mused on a radio show that the president could be primaried in 2020.
‘That certainly depends on him,’ Flake said. ‘I think he could govern in a way that he wouldn’t. But, I think that the way that — the direction he’s headed right now, just kinda drilling down on the base rather than trying to expand the base — I think he’s inviting one.’
Several Republicans are rumored to be considering a challenge to Trump, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse.
Collins told MSNBC this week that it was ‘too difficult to say’ whether Trump would be the nominee in 2020.
Asked Thursday about Corker’s critique that Trump has not demonstrated the ‘stability’ it takes to be a successful leader, the president’s spokeswoman decried the comment as ‘ridiculous and outrageous.’
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the the assault ‘doesn’t dignify a response from this podium,’ batting down the Republican lawmaker’s suggestion that Trump is mentally unfit for office.
Democrats have intermittently raised the topic, but Corker is the first Republican leader to call Trump’s mental competence into question.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday the the assault on Trump by Corker ‘doesn’t dignify a response from this podium,’ batting down the suggestion that Trump is mentally unfit for office
Democrats have intermittently raised the topic, but Corker, who Trump considered last summer for vice president, was the first high-ranking Republican to call Trump’s mental competence into question
His comments were echoed by Clapper, who deliberated after Trump’s comments Tuesday night in Arizona whether the president should have unfettered access to the nation’s nuclear codes.
He directly mentioned Trump’s ‘fitness to be in this office’ in comments on CNN.
‘I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it,’ Clapper said in an interview with Don Lemon.
Sen. Lindsey Graham meanwhile said that Trump’s feuding with Republicans in Congress, at least, is a conscious ‘political strategy,’ and ‘there’s nothing crazy about it.’
‘He’s running against Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and others. The Congress is very unpopular, particularly with the Republican base, so there’s nothing unhinged about it,’ the Republican senator who’s been on the receiving end of Trump’s attacks, said on Thursday.
Graham said he does not believe that Trump is playing it smart by attacking Republicans. ‘But it’s a very thought-out strategy. There’s nothing crazy about it,’ he said.