Trump is publicly sparring with yet another Republican senator

  • President Donald Trump takes a swipe at Sen. Bob Corker, a Senate ally who recently said Trump has not shown what it takes to be a successful president.
  • Corker joins a list of prominent Republicans whom the president has publicly chided.
  • Trump's tensions with lawmakers in his party come as they face deadlines on several key policies.

Add Sen. Bob Corker to the list of Republicans dissed this week by President Donald Trump.

Trump on Friday took a swipe at the Tennessee Republican, a key Senate ally who recently said Trump has not shown what it takes to be a successful president.

In a tweet, Trump called the Corker's remarks last week "strange." He claimed that Corker "is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again." Corker is up for re-election in the 2018.

"Tennessee not happy!" the president added.

Trump's tweet adds another layer to an increasingly chaotic relationship with Republican lawmakers at a time when they will need to cooperate on multiple crucial policy initiatives. Trump, often in response to what he perceives as slights against him, has publicly targeted Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and now Corker.

Trump has even appeared to actively champion a primary challenger to Flake, though he has not done so against other Republican senators, yet.

Asked Friday about what Trump hopes to accomplish by slamming senators, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the "end game is for Congress to do its job and actually pass legislation."

Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is personally closer to Trump than most GOP senators. The president reportedly considered him for secretary of State.

On Aug. 17, Corker told reporters that Trump "has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful." His remarks followed Trump's widely criticized response to violence at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"And we need for him to be successful. Our nation needs for him to be successful," Corker added.

The senator has voted in line with the president's priorities nearly 90 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.

In his last Senate bid in 2012, Corker easily won the primary and general election.

Trump often responds more quickly to criticism than he did with Corker. His tweet Friday morning may have been sparked by a reporter asking White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about his comments on Thursday.

A spokesman for Corker did not immediately respond to a request to comment on this article.

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