On the same day President Trump blasted Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) for his recent “outrageous” criticisms, State Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) tells Breitbart News that he told Corker exactly what he thinks about those comments.
“I’ve already told Senator Corker my thoughts about his comments about the President and that’s as far as I intend to go at this point,” Green told Breitbart News on Friday.
Green announced in early August that he did not intend to run against Corker in 2018 based on how “everything sits right now.”
Asked whether recent events, including Trump’s tweet on Friday, have sufficiently altered the political landscape for him to reassess how things “sit,” Green declined to comment.
That response clearly leaves the door open to a potential Republican primary challenge to Corker from Green, who was tapped by President Trump to serve as Secretary of the Army in April.
Green withdrew his nomination in May, “due to what he says are politically motivated attacks by Democrats about efforts and remarks he’s made in the past,” as UPI reported at the time:
Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green, nominated by Trump for the top civilian Army post in March, has been severely criticized in recent weeks for past comments about the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender population and evolution.
Unlike Senator Corker, however, Green’s commitment to the Trump agenda has never been in question.
Friday morning, President Trump sent out this tweet from his verified account:
Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2017
President Trump remains very popular among Tennesseeans, where he easily defeated Hillary Clinton by a 61 percent to 35 percent margin in 2016. Trump won 92 of the state’s 95 counties.
Tennessee has an open primary system, however, and Democrats and Independents are able to vote in the Republican primary as well as Republicans. That system goes a long way in explaining why the very conservative state has elected two moderate-to-liberal U.S. Senators in Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Corker.
Corker, however, may have pushed his luck a little too far with his non-stop criticism of President Trump.
Several other Tennessee Republican elected officials are said to be considering a primary challenge to Corker, but none have yet publicly indicated they will take on the state’s junior senator.
The window for such an announcement, however, is narrowing, as the Republican primary will be held in August 2018. The winner of that primary is almost certainly guaranteed to win the general election in November 2018.