By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — U.S. President Donald Trump and Senator Bob Corker exchanged insults on Twitter, with Trump blaming his fellow Republican and onetime ally for the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
“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 on Twitter on October 8 in the attack on a senior member of his own party.
“He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said “NO THANKS.” He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!”
Trump followed that up later in the day with: “Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it. We need HealthCare, we need Tax Cuts/Reform, we need people that can get the job done!”
Trump has repeatedly denounced the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed under his predecessor, Barack Obama, telling the UN General Assembly last month that it is “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”
Under the deal, Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions.
Trump is expected to soon announce a plan to decertify the agreement with Tehran, putting the fate of the accord into the hands of Congress, where Corker — as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee— would play a key role in deciding the outcome.
In the past, Corker has said he considers the deal flawed, but he has expressed opposition to scrapping the agreement altogether.
The 65-year-old Corker, a Tennessee senator, has announced he will not seek reelection in 2018. He was formerly close to Trump, having served as a national security adviser during the 2016 presidential campaign and was considered as a potential vice presidential running mate or as secretary of state.
In response to Trump’s tweets, Corker on October 8 wrote: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
Since announcing his plans to retire from the Senate, Croker has stepped up his criticism of Trump.
Asked last week about reported tensions between Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Corker responded by describing Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly as “those people that help separate our country from chaos.”
Corker previously said, “The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”