Influential United States Republican Senator Bob Corker has unleashed a blistering attack on President Donald Trump, calling him “utterly untruthful”.
In a series of television interviews, Mr Corker accused the president of lying, adding that he debased the US and weakened its global standing. Trump fired back on Twitter, calling the Tennessee senator a “lightweight” who “couldn’t get re-elected”.
The pair met at a Senate lunch to discuss tax reform yesterday. “He is purposely breaking down relationships we have around the world that had been useful to our nation,” Corker said on CNN after the Republican president criticised him on Twitter.
“I think the debasement of our nation is what he’ll be remembered most for,” he said. The Foreign Relations Committee chairman, who was an early supporter of Trump, added that the president has “great difficulty with truth”.
When asked if he regretted supporting Trump during the 2016 election, the senator said: “Let’s just put it this way, I would not do that again.” His comments came after Trump lashed out at the Republican in a series of tweets:
“Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts….” Last month Corker announced that he would not seek re-election at next year’s mid-term elections. Following Trump’s attack, Corker fired back on Twitter: “Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president.“
Corker had voted against the 2015 agreement to curb Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, calling it “flawed”, but later said Trump should not “tear up” the pact. Trump’s tweets yesterday appeared to be in response to Corker’s comments on ABC News’ Good Morning America, in which he suggested the president should stop interfering in the debate on tax legislation.
The president went to Capitol Hill yesterday in an attempt to rally Senate Republicans around a White House-backed tax reform plan. A protester was detained by police after he hurled Russian flags at Trump as he walked through the building with top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell.
“Trump is treason!” shouted the demonstrator, who identified himself as Ryan Clayton from Americans Take Action, a campaign group calling for Mr Trump’s impeachment. “This president conspired with agents of the Russian government to steal an election!” he cried. “We should be talking about treason in congress, not about tax cuts!”
The lawmaker also raised concern with the president’s behaviour toward North Korea, saying Trump “continues to kneecap his diplomatic representative, the secretary of state”. He added that when it comes to diplomacy with Pyongyang, Trump should “leave it to the professionals for a while”.
The spat reignites an ongoing feud between the two men, which blew up earlier this month when Corker responded to an attack from Trump saying: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. “Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.” Corker’s support for the tax plan could be crucial as Republicans seek to pass the legislation in the upper chamber.