Trump: NYT ‘set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation’
President Donald Trump wrote online Tuesday that “Liddle'” Sen. Bob Corker had been unwittingly recorded by The New York Times, the newspaper to which the prominent Republican lawmaker offered a scathing criticism of the president.
“The Failing @nytimes set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!” Trump tweeted Tuesday, pinning a diminutive nickname to the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In an interview published Sunday by the Times, Corker (R-Tenn.) said Trump is treating the presidency “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something” and expressed concern that the president could put the nation “on the path to World War III.” Corker, once under consideration to be Trump’s secretary of state, told the Times that the president “concerns me” and “would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”
Despite the president’s assertion that Corker was unaware he was being recorded, excerpts from the interview’s transcript indicate that the senator knew the conversation was on the record. Jonathan Martin, the Times reporter who interviewed Corker, wrote online that two of the senator’s aides had sat in on the phone call and “made sure after it ended that I was taping, too.”
Earlier Sunday, Trump and Corker launched criticisms at each other via Twitter, with Trump firing the first salvo, writing that “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).” In another post, Trump added that the Tennessee senator “also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said ‘NO THANKS.’ He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!”
Corker quickly responded with his own online post, writing that “it’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
The feud between the two men seemed to grow slowly in recent weeks as Corker, who has announced he will not seek reelection in 2018, grew increasingly public with his criticisms of the president. In a particularly sharp barb last week, Corker praised Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House chief of staff John Kelly as “those people that help separate our country from chaos.”