Sen. Bob Corker’s weekend comments about President Trump — that he needs day care and that he could start World War III — are alarming enough. Something else he said, though, may have more immediate consequences. He said all but a few other GOP senators agree with him.
This is a major public admission.
Corker not only was one of Trump’s earliest supporters and was considered to be his vice presidential candidate and his secretary of state, he also is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Along with being in a powerful job and having a major say over Administration foreign policy (and other matters), this also means Corker is in regular contact not only with other senators but also with senior Administration officials, such as the secretary of state, the Defense secretary and the chief of staff.
Short version: he talks to a lot of people in power which means he gets a lot of information.
If you think when it comes to gossiping and getting inside information out of the public ear senior U.S. officials or U.S. senators are any different than you and me, then I have a bridge to sell you.
When Corker says that the country is, basically, being protected against Trump’s worst instinct by, basically, three people — the secretaries of State and Defense and the chief of staff — you can believe him. When he says many other senators share his concerns, you can bet your bottom dollar he knows of whence he speaks.
And after his weekend comments, you can bet every other senator within 20 feet of a reporter will be asked today if he agrees with Corker — which also will be a nice lie detector test of their honesty.
In short, Corker may have (emphasis on “may”) laid down a marker that could be a game changer in this presidency. Corker is free of the restraints of public office because he’s not seeking re-election. Others, though, are seeking re-election and don’t want to tick off Trump’s base for fear of losing their nomination for re-election.
Do I expect a glut of senators today rushing to the microphones to say how concerned they are about a Trump presidency? No. If just one or two unexpected senators encountered a moment of candor today, though, I would consider that a major step. I’m not holding my breath.
Clearly, when the President of the United States in the span of a few days tweets not so hidden messages about war with North Korea, lies about a senator seeking his endorsement, and sets up a photo opp for his Vice President to walk out of an NFL game — well, I really do have to wonder what he thinks his job is and how hard he is working at it.
Last night he tweeted: “Nobody could have done what I’ve done for #PuertoRico with so little appreciation. So much work!”
First, his job is to do that work when fellow Americans, especially, are in a crisis. Second, we don’t need you to tell us how hard you work, we can judge that on our own. Third, move on Mr. President, that “little Rocket Man” as you for some reason like to taunt him with doesn’t know if you’re joking or not about war.
In fact, no one knows if you’re kidding — even the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.