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 honor, 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
in which he criticized 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 criticized 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
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
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 signaled 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.