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GOP Sen. Bob Corker says any Republicans in Senate who are not 'conflicted' about Trump are 'comatose'

  • Any GOP senator who isn't "conflicted" about President Trump "is either comatose or is pretty useless in their blindness," Sen. Bob Corker says.
  • Corker, who is not running for re-election after two terms in the Senate, has occasionally been a vocal critic of the president.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
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Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., suggested Wednesday that most Republicans in the Senate are "conflicted" about Donald Trump's presidency.

"Any Republican senator who hasn't been conflicted over this presidency is either comatose or is pretty useless in their blindness," Corker said at a breakfast event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor news organization.

"And we've got some of both, of course, but not many," he added.

The remarks came in response to a question about whether the second-term senator would vote for Trump again in hindsight. Corker initially said that "responding to conjecture is bad for your health."

In a recent Washington Post profile of Corker, the second-term senator said he would "probably" vote for Trump again in a race "between the same two candidates."

Corker, who is not seeking re-election, has on occasion stood out from his Senate colleagues as a vocal critic of the president. Trump and Corker exchanged public insults during debates over tax reform legislation late last year.

In October, Corker told CNN that he wouldn't support Trump again if given the opportunity. "No, no way," Corker said at the time. The same day, Trump sent a tweet calling Corker "incompetent."

Corker is not the only GOP critic of Trump in Congress. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has also criticized Trump from the Senate floor lectern. Flake is also retiring from the Senate at the end of his term.

In his remarks Wednesday, Corker described the friction of having "a president who will sign legislation that we pass on the Republican side," while having to deal with "chaotic things that occur on a daily basis" from the White House.

Still, Corker said he has "a very warm relationship with the president" and praised him for being "more accessible than any president, probably in the history of the world." Corker, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he last spoke with Trump on Thursday morning regarding airstrikes against Syria launched over the weekend.

Overall, however, Corker expressed ambivalence about the president. "It's a complicated relationship," he said.

Corker also told the audience he will not campaign against Democrat Phil Bredesen, who is running for the Senate seat.