National Security

The Corker-Trump Battle Needs to Stop

Trump is a known Twitter bully, but Corker should know better than his "World War III" hyperbole.

Nate Jackson · Oct. 11, 2017

It’s no secret that there’s little love lost between Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and President Donald Trump. The two have intermittently feuded for years already, and sorting out their most recent spat is, well, messy.

On Sunday, Corker said in an interview that Trump’s presidency was like “a reality show,” and that the White House has become an “adult daycare center.” Worse, he said, Trump’s adolescent tweets could set the nation “on the path to World War III.” Corker noted that most Republicans “understand the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.”

Never one to let such words go unchallenged, Trump responded in part by ridiculing Corker for his height, calling him “Liddle Bob.” And as for the more serious charge of war, Trump rejoined, “We were on the wrong path before,” presumably referring to North Korea. “All you have to do is take a look. If you look over the last 25 years through numerous administrations, we were on a path to a very big problem, a problem like this world has never seen. We’re on the right path right now, believe me.”

With all of that nonsense out of the way, we have two points: First, our publisher, Mark Alexander, has an old maxim that applies to both men here: “Don’t swap spit with a jackass.” Second, Corker dangerously overstates the case on leading us to war. As Jim Geraghty observed, “If the United States is one hyperbolic presidential Tweet away from all-out war, we’re already doomed.”

A senator with the foreign policy bona fides Corker has should know better.

And as far as North Korea is concerned, Yong Suk Lee, deputy assistant director of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center, argues, “Waking up one morning and deciding he wants to nuke” Los Angeles is not something Kim Jong-un is likely to do. “He wants to rule for a long time and die peacefully in his own bed,” Lee added. “Kim’s long-term goal is to come to some sort of big power agreement with the U.S. and to remove U.S. presence from the peninsula.” 
In any case, Trump “needs to stop,” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said. “But I wish Bob [Corker] would stop too. Just stop. We’ve got so many other things that we need to be focusing on right now. We need to look ahead, not reflect on anything that’s been done or said in the past.”

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