Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has defended Donald Trump, even when it didn’t make coherent sense to do so, and yesterday he continued to run interference for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Corker a good question: “Which specific ideas of Donald Trump on foreign policy are you enthusiastic about, are you ready to fight for?” The senator replied:
“So I think – here’s what I have seen in many of the statements that he’s made. It’s something that Secretary Baker would – it’s a degree of realism coming back into our foreign policy.“For years, we’ve had neocons on the Republican side. We’ve had liberal internationalists on the Democratic side. And I think bringing that maturity back into our foreign policy is something that’s important. So I see a degree of maturity stepping in. I’ve obviously encouraged that.”
In recent years, as Trump’s political profile has become more prominent – first through his championing of a racist conspiracy theory surrounding President Obama’s birthplace, then through his often bizarre presidential candidacy – I’ve seen quite a few words used to describe his approach to international affairs.
I’m reasonably certain Bob Corker is literally the only person on the planet to connect Trump’s perspective to words like “maturity” and “realism.”
Indeed, while Corker was making one Sunday show appearance, defending Trump’s sensible approach to foreign policy, consider what Trump himself was saying on this same subject on some of the other Sunday shows.
On “Face the Nation,” John Dickerson reminded Trump that he’s been critical of U.S. intervention in Libya, despite having endorsed U.S. intervention in Libya.
TRUMP: When you say supported it, I supported Libya?DICKERSON: Yes, you supported intervention in Libya.TRUMP: I did? Where do you see that?
The host played Trump a clip from 2011, when he said, “Now, we should go in. We should stop this guy [Gadhafi], which would be very easy and very quick.” The Republican candidate said his vision of intervention was different from the Obama administration’s.
Pressed for additional details, Trump added, “I made lot of money with Gadhafi.”
In the same interview, Dickerson asked whether he still believes he knows more about ISIS than American generals. “Well, they don’t know much, because they’re not winning,” Trump said.
He added that the generals’ difficulties are President Obama’s fault. Trump went on to claim he’s had secret conversations with “certain generals” who’ve told him we “could knock them out fast,” in reference to ISIS.
Around the same time, CNN was airing Trump’s interview with Jake Tapper, where the Republican candidate again falsely claimed he was against the U.S. invasion of Iraq “before it started,” despite the evidence to the contrary. When Tapper asked if there’s any evidence whatsoever to substantiate Trump’s claims, the candidate said no one has ever asked for proof before.
“I think there is evidence,” Trump said. “I will see if I can get it.”
Asked about his support for Japan acquiring nuclear weapons, Trump effectively rambled for a few minutes, avoiding the subject altogether.
Remember, when it comes to the Republican candidate and foreign policy, Bob Corker sees “a degree of maturity stepping in.” If there’s any proof to substantiate the Tennessee senator’s observation, it’s hiding well.
* Postscript: In the Corker interview, Stephanopoulos asked the senator whether it’s realistic to expect Mexico to pay for a border wall. Corker complained, “I thought this interview was going to be more about the foreign policy arena.”
It fell to the host to remind the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, “Well, our relations with Mexico is foreign policy.”