Surprise, surprise. Retiring U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) used some of his final moments in office to criticize President Donald Trump.
The former Chattanooga mayor, who is leaving the U.S. Senate in January, delivered his latest missive against the president in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The story is available here.
Corker, who served as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, told the newspaper that the president’s governing model “is based upon division, anger and resentment, and in some cases, even hate.”
“He is able to keep his base together by his approach and instead of appealing to our better angels and trying to unite us like most people would try to do, the president tries to divide us,” Corker said. “There’s just no reason for it, and it doesn’t take us to a better place to squander the well-earned good will that we have around the world at a time when our leadership is more important than ever.”
The Tennessee Star has reported on Corker’s past attacks against Trump, including criticism in August over the president’s removal of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance as “kind of a banana republic kind of thing.”
In July, Corker criticized Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
“I just felt like the President’s comments made us look as a nation more like a pushover,” Corker said at the time.
Trump has scolded many European nations for not doing as much as the United States or paying their fair share to support the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), making him less popular in Europe but improving financial support for NATO, the Times Free Press said.
Corker said, ”People start hedging their bets and they start creating relations with others because they are not sure of where we are going to be,” he said.
Corker told the Times Free Press that perhaps Trump is a “four-year aberration.”
“It has been an effective formula and he did get elected and, from a Republican standpoint, he has been effective in getting a lot of things done,” Corker said. “But I’m not sure people will appreciate that approach for an eight-year term. Maybe over a four-year period, people will say, ‘He shook things up’ and I like that.” But this could just be a four-year aberration.”
The Times Free Press referenced the possibility of Corker running for president in the Republican primary in 2020, which The Star reported last week. Corker continues to sidestep when asked about his plans.
The newspaper story also quoted Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill, who said, “The Republican candidates who ran with Trump won, and those who ran away from the president lost. Bob Corker had little base before and he has even less now that he has criticized the president so harshly. The idea that Bob Corker has in his mind that somehow being anti-Trump is going to get him a support base either in Tennessee or the rest of the country is beyond belief.”
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.