Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker warned on Sunday that President Donald Trump risks setting the nation “on the path to World War III” in an interview with The New York Times, the latest in a series of public barbs traded over the day.
Trump had blamed his former political ally for the Iran nuclear deal in a series of derisive Twitter posts that drew a sharp riposte from Corker, who chairs the important Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In a sweeping, 25-minute interview, Corker told the newspaper he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something” — in a reference to the reality television show that Trump had once hosted.
“He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,” the senator, who announced his retirement last month, said.
Corker dismissed the idea that Trump may be using provocative comments about North Korea to advance U.S. negotiations being conducted by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by playing “bad cop” to the top diplomat’s “good cop” effort to broker a deal with Pyongyang.
“I know he has hurt, in several instances. He’s hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out,” Corker told the paper, which added that Corker did not provide details about negotiations. “A lot of people think that there is some kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ act underway, but that’s just not true.”
Corker had been a national security adviser to Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and on Trump’s short-list last year for both vice president and secretary of state.
But the relationship between the two men has greatly deteriorated.
More recently, Corker has criticized Trump, taking issue with the president’s response to a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Va., in August. Critics assailed Trump for saying rival protesters were also to blame for violence.
“Senator Bob Corker “begged” me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said “NO” and he dropped out] said he could not win without my endorsement],” Trump wrote. “He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said “NO THANKS.” He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!”Speech