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Trump’s impulsive threats leaves Republicans spooked

Sheetal Sukhija - Tuesday 10th October, 2017

WASHINGTON, U.S. - In an ongoing feud with U.S. President Donald Trump, Republican Tennessee senator Bob Corker has now lashed out at the president.

Corker has said that Trump is treating the office “like a reality show.”

The former Senate ally said that Trump could set the U.S. “on the path to World War III.”

Corker said, "I don't know why the president tweets out things that are not true. You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does."

Last year, Corker was on the shortlist to be Trump’s vice-presidential pick - however he has been recently engaged in a serious public falling out with Trump.

Last week, commenting on the potential resignation of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Corker said, “Secretary Tillerson, Secretary (of Defence) Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people who help separate our country from chaos. I deal with people throughout the administration, and it from my perspective is a very frustrating place."

Then, on Sunday, Trump lashed out on Twitter, saying, “Senator Bob Corker 'begged' me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said 'NO' and he dropped out (said he could not win without… my endorsement).”

He added, "He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said 'NO THANKS.' He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!"

Corker replied, "It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care centre. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

Speaking to the New York Times, Corker later said that Trump had in fact asked him not to retire.

For months now, tensions have been growing between Trump and members of his own Cabinet -- especially Tillerson.

Issues have ranged from ways to handle North Korea's nuclear weapons program and Trump’s reaction to the Iran nuclear deal.

Reports have pointed out that since Corker remains an influential voice on Trump's foreign policy challenges, including over how to handle the Iran nuclear deal, the Senator’s vote will be critical on tax reform.

Corker has said that Trump had undermined diplomatic efforts by U.S. officials with his tweets.

On Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars and getting nothing. Policy didn't work!"

Alienating Corker, experts believe is a risky move for Trump as there is currently only a slender majority in the Senate and Trump can ill-afford to antagonise a senator who could be a reliable conservative vote.

Corker has said his concerns were shared by nearly all his fellow Republicans in the Senate.

He said, “Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we're dealing with here. Of course they understand the volatility that we're dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road."

However, Corker didn't have the public backing of his colleagues and Senator Chuck Grassley blew off questions on the spat.

Grassley said, "Both ought to cool it. Next question.”

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