As political food fights go, the back and forth between Donald Trump and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) offers plenty of drama and entertainment. The key question, however, is what, if anything, happens in the wake of the rhetorical jabs.
Tensions between the two Republicans isn't new, but conditions have escalated now that Corker has announced his retirement, freeing him from some constraints. Last week, for example, the GOP senator made the case that members of the president's cabinet are helping prevent the world from slipping into Trump-imposed "chaos."
Over the weekend, the president returned fire, saying Corker "begged" Trump for an endorsement, and decided to retire after Trump refused. The president added that the Tennessee Republican "didn't have the guts" to seek another term.
On Twitter, Corker responded to the latest Trump tantrum by writing, "It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning." In an interview with the New York Times, the senator went quite a bit further.
Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like "a reality show," with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation "on the path to World War III."
In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts "like he's doing 'The Apprentice' or something."
"He concerns me," Mr. Corker added. "He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."
As for the president's assertions that he refused to back Corker's re-election, both the senator and sources close to him insisted to multiple news outlets that Trump offered an endorsement and even urged Corker to reconsider after the senator decided to retire.
"I don't know why the president tweets out things that are not true," Corker added. "You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does."