Corker praises recent White House changes he says are "like day and night"

Corker praises recent White House changes he says are "like day and night"

Tennessee senator says "no daylight" between Trump and him despite earlier criticisms

September 22nd, 2017 by Dave Flessner in Breaking News

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Bob Corker and Donald Trump are both former real estate developers who talk often, and sometimes bluntly, with one another about their new political roles in Washington D.C.

Corker, the Tennessean Republican who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said today "there is no daylight between" himself and President Trump.

"Our relationship has not changed in any way," Corker said in Chattanooga.

Last month when Corker was previously in his hometown talking to the Chattanooga Rotary Club, he called for "radical changes" in the White House and said Trump " has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order for him to be successful."

In response, Trump later tweeted that that Corker's criticism was a "strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in '18. Tennessee not happy!"

Corker said he has talked with the president three times in the past week, including a telephone conversation Thursday night where Trump called " to commiserate and shoot the breeze, which he does often."

"We're two business guys who talk in blunt ways and yet we continue to talk often and our relationship is like it has always been," Corker said.

Trump considered Corker for both a vice presidential candidate and, after he was elected, for secretary of state.

Corker's earlier criticism of Trump has emboldened some Trump supporters to try to challenge Corker in next year's U.S. senate race, which Corker is expected to soon formally announce his candidacy for another term.

Andy Ogles, who previously worked for Americans for Prosperity in Tennessee, announced he is challenging Corker in the GOP primary. Former state Rep. Joe Carr, who captured 40 percent in a primary challenge against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander , R-Tenn., in 2014, said he considering entering the race. State Sen. Mark Green is also another potential GOP challenger.

Corker today praised Trump for his reversal on Afghanistan and the White House's recent hurricane relief efforts.

"I have to say there seems to be some dramatic changes that have taken places there and it is noticeable to all of us who deal with the White House and I appreciate that very much," he said.

Corker said the White House appears more focused and disciplined since General John F. Kelly replaced Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff this summer.

"General Kelly has really brought tremendous discipline to the White House," Corker said. "It's night and day (from the past and now) in terms of people having access to the president."


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