Senior Republican Senator: Trump Could Lead to Outbreak of Third World War

Following a day of Twitter swipes at each other, Bob Corker doesn't hold back in an interview with the New York Times

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks with reporters after announcing his retirement at the conclusion of his term on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 26, 2017.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks with reporters after announcing his retirement at the conclusion of his term on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 26, 2017. AARON P. BERNSTEIN/REUTERS

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Sunday that President Trump's conduct could lead to the outbreak of a Third World War. 

Corker, who represents the state of Tennessee, announced last week that he wouldn't seek re-election in 2018 and would retire after 12 years in the Senate. On Sunday, Trump lashed out against him on his popular Twitter account, devoting four tweets to personal attacks against Corker, including a false claim that the senator had asked for his endorsement and had retired only after Trump had refused to give it. News reports have stated that the opposite is true: Trump offered Corker his support and asked him to run for re-election, but Corker chose to retire instead.

On Sunday night, Corker gave an interview to the New York Times in which he spoke about Trump in an extraordinary way for a senator when referring to a president from his own party. Corker said that Trump is treating the presidency "like he's doing 'The Apprentice,'" the reality-TV show Trump hosted in the past. Corker also said with regards to Trump: "He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”

Earlier this week, Corker came to the defense of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after it was reported that Tillerson had called Trump a "moron" and had threatened to resign because of the president's ignorance of foreign policy issues. (Tillerson denied the reports.) Corker said that Tillerson, together with Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, are "what is separating our nation from chaos."

In the interview on Sunday, Corker said, "As long as there are people like that around [Trump], who are able to talk him down when he gets spun up, you know, calm him down and continue to work with him before a decision gets made, I think we’ll be fine."

And yet, Corker still warned that Trump's threats towards other world countries could set the United States "on the path to World War III." He added, "I don’t think he appreciates that when the president of the United States speaks and says the things that he does, the impact that it has around the world."