Corker gets critical calls after latest Trump commentary, hopes president will ‘grow in his office’

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he’s been inundated with critical phone calls since questioning President Trump’s competence in Chattanooga earlier this week, according to WPLN. In a Nashville appearance, the senator also elaborated a bit on his remarks, saying he isn’t sorry he supported Trump in the general election or for his past praise of the president — but he does want Trump to become a unifier, rather than a divisive figure.

“People expect a president to grow in his office and to step up, and I hope that’s going to be the case,” he said.

Corker appeared to break with Trump after the president insisted the so-called “alt-left” shares blame with white supremacists for the turmoil that shook Charlottesville. The remark has been widely condemned for lending legitimacy to marchers who carried torches through the University of Virginia campus and chanted anti-Semitic and racist messages. (Previous post HERE.)

But Corker’s criticism has also sparked a backlash. His cell phone number has been published online, he said, and critics have been calling. (Newt) Gingrich, a frequent ally of Trump, has also been trying to reach him.

Corker said he spoke up, though, on behalf of those in the Trump administration who agree change is needed.

“The things that I say, I say hopefully to influence him and to influence the people around him,” Corker told reporters. “I’m aware of many frustrations internally and, look, there’s such a great opportunity.”

Corker also had a speech in Columbia on Friday, where Tennessee Star reports he was asked about Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen’s call for impeachment of Trump. (Previous post HERE.)

Throwing up his hand, Corker said, “I don’t think it’s worthy of a response at this moment” and that it was “uninteresting to respond to.”

… Asked by The Tennessee Star after Friday’s luncheon what he thought Trump should have said instead, Corker said he didn’t want to get into analyzing it further.

“I’m trying to steer away from that,” Corker said. “What I said yesterday I think speaks for itself. Hopefully this, myself and maybe a few others speaking out, will have an effect. But I just want good things for our country. Republicans and Democrats alike need for our president to be successful.”

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