CNN reported on Monday morning that Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) is considering retirement.
News of Corker’s potential retirement comes one day after Breitbart Executive Chairman Steve Bannon stated in an interview with the CBS program 60 Minutes that the GOP Congressional leadership is trying to nullify the results of the 2016 Presidential election.
“The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face,” Bannon told CBS’s Charlie Rose.
As a result, Bannon said, he is declaring war on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and will be vigorously supporting 2018 primary challengers to Republican senators who support the Majority Leader’s agenda, and not President Trump’s agenda.
At least one press report indicates that Tennessee’s Corker is high on Bannon’s list of Republican establishment senators for removal in 2018 primary contests.
“Two other senators could come under attack. Behind the scenes, Bannon has proposed the possibility of targeting Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, and those close to the former Trump chief strategist are talking about the prospect of a challenge to Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker,” Politico reported Sunday night.
Reports indicate that McConnell has encouraged Corker to run for re-election.
First elected in 2006, Corker is up for re-election in 2018, but has come under fire from Republicans in Tennessee for his recent public criticisms of President Trump.
Late last month, President Trump himself pushed back on Twitter against Corker’s criticisms:
President Donald Trump answered criticism from Senator Bob Corker, adding him to a list of Republican senators he has publicly excoriated after they criticized him.
“Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Tennessee not happy!”
Trump easily won Tennessee in the 2016 general election over Hillary Clinton by a 61 percent to 35 percent margin and remains very popular in the state among likely Republican primary voters.
“Corker told CNN last week that he has not made a decision about his future, and appeared to confirm Trump’s tweet that he asked the President for political advice about whether to run for reelection.” CNN reported on Monday.
Corker’s ability to secure the Republican nomination for a potential third term is far from a certainty.
Both Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) and State Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) are said to be considering a challenge to Corker should he run again. Either challenger would be a strong competitor against Corker, particularly in a head-to-head race.