WASHINGTON (CN) – The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday delivered harsh criticism of President Donald Trump, saying the president has not shown “the stability, nor some of the competency” of a successful president.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a one-time ally of the president who made Trump’s short-list to be secretary of state during the presidential transition, went on to accuse him of “helping inspire divisions” in order to work up his base.
“He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today,” Corker said in an interview posted on Facebook by a reporter at the Chattanooga, Tenn., outlet Nooga.com. “And he’s got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that and without the things that I just mentioned happening, our nation is going to go through great peril.”
Corkers comments come on the same day that Trump blasted two of Corker’s Republican colleagues, Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake, on Twitter. Trump complained that Graham was unfairly harsh on the president’s statement on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, while expressing support for Flake’s challenger in the upcoming Republican primary.
While both Graham and Flake have been vocally critical of Trump, Corker has been less outspoken and at one time was even a candidate to take the job of secretary of state.
Trump has also publically feuded with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for his failure to pass a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Corker defended McConnell on Twitter last week after one of Trump’s Twitter barbs.
“From health care to tax reform to infrastructure, tough issues to tackle this fall and none better than @SenateMajLdr to get a good outcome,” Corker tweeted, referring to McConnell by his Twitter handle.
Corker was also instrumental in passing a bill last month that imposed new sanctions against Russia and prevented the president from unilaterally revoking them. The White House was critical of the measure, with Trump attaching a lengthy signing statement critical of the bill after signing it.
Republican Sen. Tim Scott, the Senate’s only black Republican, also rebuked the president on Thursday, telling the Post and Courier newspaper in his home state of South Carolina that Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, “complicates this administration’s moral authority.”
Scott told the newspaper that by drawing a “moral equivalency” between the two sides, “I think you are either missing four centuries of history in this nation or you are trying to make something what it’s not.”
Scott says Trump’s controversies have compromised the GOP’s ability to get things done on health care, taxes and financial regulations and have put Republicans in a “precarious position.”