Why the Corker Spat Matters

4 minute read

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a one-time finalist to be President Trump’s Secretary of State, delivered one of the most biting critiques yet of the commander in chief Sunday in response to a presidential tweetstorm. “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center,” Corker tweeted. “Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.” He didn’t stop there. In a later interview with the New York Times, Corker delivered a blistering broadside at the Oval Office, suggesting Trump’s unpredictability and refusal to listen to the advice of his top aides was setting the nation on a path toward World War III.

Corker, of course, is a Republican, and said the majority of his colleagues share his perspective, even if they’re unwilling to voice it publicly. Corker is free, in large part because he set to retire from the Senate at the end of the current Congress. But it would be a mistake to read Corker’s critique as just a reaction to Trump’s attack. He was sending up a warning signal to the West Wing that Republican lawmakers are running out of patience with the White House. Don’t expect too many GOP lawmakers to follow Corker’s lead — they want to win reelection after all — but his criticism is fresh indication that Republicans don’t fear Trump. (They fear his voters.) And that should Trump come knocking for help in the comings months and years, he shouldn’t expect blind support because of the “R” after his name.

Trump rolls back contraceptive mandate. The White House lays out its price for a DACA fix. And Pence walks out.

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Must Reads

Bob Corker Says Trump’s Recklessness Threatens ‘World War III’
Top GOP lawmakers unleashes on Trump [New York Times]

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Democrats say he breached agreement [Reuters]

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The Trump Administration Just Rolled Back the Birth Control Mandate.
Here’s What That Means [TIME]

Sound Off

“Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it. We need HealthCare, we need Tax Cuts/Reform, we need people that can get the job done!” — President Trump’s Twitter riposte to Corker’s tweet

“I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.” — Trump taking credit for Pence walking out of an Indianapolis Colts game after some San Francisco 49ers players took a knee during the National Anthem

Bits and Bites

Vice President Mike Pence Leaves Football Game After Players Kneel During National Anthem [TIME]

President Trump’s Immigration Wishlist Could Kill a Deal to Help the Dreamers [TIME]

Facebook “embeds,” Russia and the Trump campaign’s secret weapon [CBS]

Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms [Washington Post]

Melania Trump saying 2 words more often: first lady [Associated Press]

Here’s How President Trump’s Tax Plan Would Affect You [TIME]

White House Finalizing Executive Order to Expand Health Care Plans [Associated Press]

Donald Trump: ‘Unfunny’ Late-Night Hosts Should Give Republicans ‘Equal Time’ [TIME]

EPA Chief Announces Roll Back of Obama-Era Clean Power Plan [Associated Press]

Democrats Rush to Return Donations From Harvey Weinstein [TIME]

President Trump Loves Coal So Much It’s Starting to Annoy the Oil and Gas Industry [TIME]

President Trump Adopted a Spanish Accent to Say ‘Puerto Rico’ [Associated Press]

‘Armed People Are a Free People.’ NRA Supporters Aren’t Swayed After Las Vegas [TIME]

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