President Trump lashed out Tuesday at Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), mocking the Republican Foreign Relations Committee chairman’s physical stature and charging thatÂ he was âmade to sound a foolâ when he brutally critiquedÂ the president’s fitness for office in a recent interview.
Trump, who considers himself a master brander for assigning derisive monikers to political opponents, debuted in a Tuesday morning tweet hisÂ nickname for the senator from Tennessee: âLiddleâ Bob Corker.
The president tweeted, âThe 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!â
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!
â Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
Trump was referring to Corker’s explosive interview Sunday with the New York Times, in which the senator warned thatÂ the president’s reckless behavior was setting the nation âon the path to World War IIIâ andÂ saidÂ âhe would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.â
Speaking at the White House on Tuesday morning, TrumpÂ strongly pushed back onÂ Corker’s World War III critique.
“We were on the wrong path before. All you have to do is take a look,” Trump, responding to Corker during a meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. “Through numerous administrations we were on a path to a very big problem.
The Times recorded its on-the-record telephone interview with Corker, as is standard practice for interviews with top newsmakers, and audio clips of the conversation have beenÂ played repeatedly on cable news shows.
Corker’s commentsÂ came after Trump attacked him in a trio of tweets Sunday morning. Though White House officials said Trump was furious with Corker for his statements to the Times, the presidentÂ resistedÂ responding to Corker’s critiqueÂ for a day and a half.
But he decided Tuesday,Â shortlyÂ before his scheduled intelligence briefing, to punch back at Corker.
Corker, who is 5 foot 7 inches tall, is not the first political rival to be branded by Trump with the âLiddleâ moniker. During the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Trump called Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is 5-foot-9, âLiddle Marco.â
TrumpÂ gave nicknames to other rivals as well, labeling former Florida governor Jeb Bush âLow Energy Jebâ and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) âLyin’ Ted.â