Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) defended Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) against criticism from President Donald Trump, describing him as a “valuable member” of the Senate Republican caucus.
“Sen. Corker is a valuable member of the Senate Republican caucus and he’s also on the Budget committee and a particularly important player as we move to the floor on the budget next week and he’s an important part of our team,” McConnell said on Monday.
McConnell’s comments follow a war of words between the two men after Trump claimed that Corker had “begged” him for an endorsement for his reelection, asked to be Secretary of State, and lacked the “guts” to run.
Corker then responded to Trump by suggesting that the White House had become an “adult day care center.”
It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) October 8, 2017
When pushed on whether he agreed with Corker’s criticism of Trump, McConnell refused to give a response, and simply reiterated his “important” role in Congress.
“[Corker is] an important part of our team and he’s a particularly important part of the budget debate which will be on the floor next week.”
Since the feud broke out, Corker has stepped up his criticism of the President by suggesting that his rhetoric could lead the United States into “World War III.”
“He concerns me,” Corker told The New York Times in an interview. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”
In September, Corker announced that he would not seek re-election – just one day after Breitbart News reported a deal he made in a Mobile, Alabama retail center arranged by a law firm that donated $28,000 to Luther Strange’s Senate unsuccessful campaign in the state’s Senate primary election.
“When I ran for the Senate in 2006, I told people that I couldn’t imagine serving for more than two terms,” Corker said in a statement. “Understandably, as we have gained influence, that decision has become more difficult. But I have always been drawn to the citizen legislator model, and while I realize it is not for everyone, I believe with the kind of service I provide, it is the right one for me.”