While Donald Trump’s longtime feud with Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) is alive and well, the president’s more recent fight with outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) packs just as much of a punch. This seems especially true of Corker, whose recent decision to retire from public office has apparently emboldened the junior senator against Trump — along with the entire White House. Below you’ll find an updated accounting of the two men’s less-than-friendly interactions with each other, dating back to the time Corker refused to outright endorse Trump’s candidacy.
- April 28, 2016: During an appearance on CNN, Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, praises Trump’s recent foreign policy speech as “very thoughtful.” He also reveals the presidential hopeful had just reached out to him, saying the two men had a “good conversation” about the campaign. Despite lauding what he described as Trump’s “really good transition in the campaign,” however, Corker doesn’t outright endorse the Republican candidate.
- July 5, 2016: At a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, Corker briefly opens for Trump, saying the two men “had a pretty remarkable day.” Aside from praising the then-presumptive Republican presidential nominee, however, the senator still doesn’t officially endorse (let alone use the word “endorse”) Trump for president.
- July 20, 2016: Corker echoes his positive sentiments for Trump’s candidacy again while attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Again, the senator refuses to outright endorse his party’s nominee, though he does speak candidly about their relationship. (By this point, Corker has been regularly giving Trump foreign policy advice.) He also begins teasing the idea of being a possible pick for state or treasury secretary, but avoids discussing any specifics.
- November 16, 2016: Sure enough, several reports by BuzzFeed News and CNN list Corker’s name as one of several being considered by the victorious Trump campaign for the state secretary position. Then again, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are also listed as possibilities to lead the State Department (which, of course, eventually goes to Rex Tillerson).