A deepening feud between President Donald Trump and Republican Sen. Bob Corker gained steam on Monday night by way of the former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon.
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Bannon called Corker a “disgrace” after the retiring senator engaged in a war of words with Trump over the weekend.
“If Bob Corker has any honour, any decency, he should resign immediately,” said Bannon, who after leaving the White House returned to his post atop the far-right website Breitbart.
The comments follow a Sunday morning tweetstorm from Trump in which he criticised Corker and claimed the senator had unsuccessfully sought his endorsement for reelection in 2018. Corker disputed that assertion, saying Trump had offered his endorsement just last week but that Corker had already decided he would not seek reelection in 2018.
Corker then criticised Trump’s social-media ramblings and said that the White House was becoming an “adult day-care center,” suggesting West Wing aides are in an ongoing struggle to contain Trump’s impulsive behaviour.
Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has ramped up his criticism of Trump since May, when he expressed his dismay at Trump for revealing sensitive information to Russian diplomats during an Oval Office meeting. Corker said at the time that the White House was in a “downward spiral.”
The senator admonished Trump again in August for his response to a white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly, and more recently decried the way Trump has publicly undermined Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Corker took his criticism of Trump a step further in an interview with The New York Times, in which he voiced concern about Trump’s ability to lead, and suggested his rhetoric could put the US “on the path to World War III.”
Bannon and his allies have signalled that they will move to back a slew of primary challengers to establishment-aligned Republican senators next year. Among those is Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who has announced she will run for the seat that will be vacated by Corker.
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