Republican Sen. Bob Corker says President Donald Trump is debasing the United States by “the attempted bullying that he does, which everybody sees through.” (Oct. 24)
WASHINGTON â€“ Sens. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake have held nothing back in their torrent of criticism of President Trump. But both insist their spat with the commander-in-chief wonâ€™t influence their work on foreign policy.
â€œPresident Trump has never been a factor in how we deal with foreign relations,â€ said Corker, the Tennessee Republican who has been relentlessly mocked by Trump on Twitter.
â€œLiddle Bob Corker,â€™â€ as Trump has demeaned him, has a big foreign policy role as chairman of theÂ Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The panel has oversight of the State Department and is involved in a number of foreign policy matters, including treaties and authorizations for use of military force.
Instead of Trump, â€œwe deal with those principals around the president that we think are the people that are sound in what they do,â€ Corker said, citing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster as examples.
Flake, an Arizona Republican who also sits on the committee, also said neither he nor Corker would allow their criticism of Trump to spill over into the panelâ€™s work.
â€œBob, heâ€™s straight up,â€ Flake said of Corker. â€œHe does what he thinks is right. Iâ€™d like to think Iâ€™ll do the same.â€
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Flake, who announced Tuesday he wonâ€™t seek re-election next year and delivered a blistering critique of the “coarseness of our national dialogue” in the Trump era, said his and Corkerâ€™s foreign policy views are well known.
â€œWeâ€™re concerned about instability,â€ he said. â€œAnd obviously, we want effective foreign policy. I think we have some issues there. But they are not born out of animus for the president or because we disagree with the president. Itâ€™s just the way we feel.â€
Even Trump apparently sees no problem with the senators keeping their hands in international affairs.
Responding to a question from reporters at the White House,Â Trump saidÂ WednesdayÂ that Corker should not be stripped of his committee chairmanship.
â€œI think itâ€™s fine the way it is,â€ he said.