Corker urges 'radical changes' in Trump White House [video]

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., speaks to the Rotary Club of Chattanooga on Thursday, Aug. 17, at the Chattanooga Convention Center. | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker today called for "radical changes" in the White House to bring more stability and confidence to Donald Trump's presidency.

"The president 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 - and our nation and our world needs for him to be successful, whether you are Republican or Democrat," Corker told the Chattanooga Rotary club today.

In some of his sharpest criticisms yet of President Trump, the Tennessee Republican chided Trump for his comments about the fatal protest rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Va., Trump's "hot rhetoric" about North Korea and his tweets criticizing fellow Republicans in the Congress.

"We're at a point where there needs to be radical changes at the White House - it has to happen," Corker told reporters following his luncheon address. "He (President Trump) recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of our nation - what has made it great and what it is today. He's got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that. Without those things happening, our nation is going to go through great peril."

Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Trump "needs to move beyond himself and move to a place where he thinks what is best for the nation."

Despite instances of partisan, ideological and racial polarization across the country, Corker urged Trump to try to reconcile differences, rather than inflame heated emotions.

"We should hope that he aspires, that he does some self reflection, and that he does what is necessary to demonstrate stability, to demonstrate competence and demonstrate he understands the character of our nation and works daily to bring out the best from the people of our nation," Corker said. "Helping to inspire divisions because it generates support from your base is not a formula for causing our nation to advance and to overcome the many issues that we have to deal with right now."

Corker said it takes more discipline and inner strength some times "to be measured" and said he disagrees with Trump's recent twitter criticisms of Republican Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R- S.C., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 423-757-6340.

Violence in Charlottesville, Va.