Nets Invite Trump Critic Corker to Paint President as ‘Threat to National Security’

On Tuesday, all three network morning shows encouraged Tennessee Senator and outspoken Trump critic Bob Corker to step up his attacks on the President. Hosts asked the Republican lawmaker if he thought the commander-in-chief was a “threat to national security,” wondered “what’s being done about it” in Congress, and invited him to double-down on his harshest rhetoric against the President.

“Senator, you of course know that you’ve been in the news a bit for your criticism of the President....And among the comments is that you’re concerned his comments, the President’s comments, ‘could put us in on the path to World War III,’” NBC Today co-host Savannah Guthrie began her question to Corker. She then urged him to go farther: “Let me put it bluntly, left to his own devices, do you think the President is a threat to national security?”

 

 

Corker replied: “I think that there are people around him that work in an effort to contain him.” Guthrie interjected to declare that he had proved her point: “Well, that almost seems to accept the premise of the question, if he needs to be contained?”

After the Senator reaffirmed his opinion that President Trump’s remarks about the North Korea crisis “really move our country into a binary choice which could lead to a world war,” fellow co-host Matt Lauer fretted that other members of Congress hadn’t joined Corker in blasting Trump:

Were you disappointed, Senator? I mean, it seemed to me when you made these comments recently, you were saying to your colleagues, “Come on, folks, let’s go, I’ll get out here, and let’s speak truth to power.” And then, there was this thud and a kind of eerie silence. Are you disappointed that more of your colleagues didn’t speak their minds following your comments?

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In part, Corker humbly proclaimed: “I’m one senator who is expressing what I believe to be sincere...this is the role that I believe I should play for the good of our country. And for the good of the world, really.”

At no point did Guthrie or Lauer challenge any of Corker’s assertions about the President. That’s really not surprising since Lauer suggested on Thursday’s show that military leaders in the administration should launch a coup against Trump to prevent him from starting a war.

Talking to Corker on CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose touted former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama making veiled critiques of Trump: “Without naming the President, they seem to be doing what you also have spoken about, the fitness of the President.” Rose asked: “What are your concerns about this president?”

After Corker declared that “it appears to be the governing model of this White House to purposely divide,” co-host Gayle King pleaded for action: “We keep hearing privately, Senator Corker, that many people feel the way you do. So, what’s being done about it on Capitol Hill?”

The Senator assured her:

One of the things we’re going to be doing, beginning a week from this coming Monday night, we’re going to begin to walk through a series of discussions about the authorization for the use of military force, what powers the President has, talk about some of the international alignments that we have that are very important to our country, making the American people even more aware of some of the destructive things that are happening.

On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stepahanopoulos cited Corker’s attacks: “You’ve had some tough words for President Trump. You compared the White House to an adult day-care center, you said he’s putting us perhaps on the path towards World War III, and said most of your colleagues agree with you behind closed doors.” He then gently pressed: “Any second thoughts about those comments?”

Corker seized the chance to maintain his fearmongering:

No, George, I don’t make comments that I haven’t thought about....we’ve got this issue in North Korea and the President continues to kneecap his diplomatic representative, the Secretary of State....The President undermines our Secretary of State, raises tensions in the area by virtue of the tweets that he sends out, and I would just like for him to leave it to the professionals for a while and see if we can do something that’s constructive for our country, the region, and the world.

“Sounds like no second thoughts,” Stephanopoulos satisfyingly concluded.

Rather that try to turn down Corker’s incendiary rhetoric about the President starting another world war, the liberal media were united in their effort to give the Senator a megaphone to launch more attacks on Trump.

The biased coverage across all three networks was brought to viewers by Jimmy Dean, Chevrolet, and IBM.

Here are excerpts of the October 24 interviews:

Today
7:08 AM ET

(...)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Senator, you of course know that you’ve been in the news a bit for your criticism of the President. You have announced that you are not running for re-election. I read what you said pretty carefully. And among the comments is that you’re concerned his comments, the President’s comments, “could put us in on the path to World War III.” Let me put it bluntly, left to his own devices, do you think the President is a threat to national security?

SEN. BOB CORKER [R-TN]: I think that there are people around him that work in an effort to contain him. That would be Secretary Mattis and Tillerson and General Kelly there as chief of staff.

GUTHRIE: Well, that almost seems to accept the premise of the question, if he needs to be contained?

CORKER: I do think when you have the kind of issue we’re dealing with in North Korea, where we have a very unstable leader there, when you send out tweets into the region to raise tensions, when you kneecap, which is what he’s done, publicly – when you kneecap your Secretary of State, whose diplomacy you have to depend upon to really bring China to the table to do the things that need to be done, back channeling in some cases to North Korea. When you kneecap that effort, you really move our country into a binary choice which could lead to a world war. So, yes, I want him to support diplomatic efforts, not to embarrass and really malign efforts that are underway to try to get some kind of diplomatic solution here. And I think most people would agree with that.

MATT LAUER: Were you disappointed, Senator? I mean, it seemed to me when you made these comments recently, you were saying to your colleagues, “Come on, folks, let’s go, I’ll get out here, and let’s speak truth to power.” And then, there was this thud and a kind of eerie silence. Are you disappointed that more of your colleagues didn’t speak their minds following your comments?

CORKER: You know, not really. Look, I came here as – in a missional way. I’m serving two terms and leaving. I’ve always been an independent voice. I was raised – I built a company in a rough-and-tumble business. It’s just my nature to be direct and very independent. I think that’s what people from Tennessee sent me to do. And so, this has been building for some time, as I’ve watched the way the White House has operated. My concerns have continued to rise. And, look, I’m one senator who is expressing what I believe to be sincere, what I know to be sincere concerns. And other senators may have other issues they’re dealing with, but this is the role that I believe I should play for the good of our country. And for the good of the world, really.

(...)


CBS This Morning
8:05 AM ET

(...)

CHARLIE ROSE: Senator, the former President George Bush – George W. Bush, Bush 43, former senator and President Barack Obama have all spoken about the country and the mood of the country. Without naming the President, they seem to be doing what you also have spoken about, the fitness of the President. What are your concerns about this president?

SEN. BOB CORKER [R-TN]: Well, look, I – this is a – I’ve gotten to know the President in a very unique way over the course of the last year. And I guess like all Americans, I would have hoped that he would rise to the occasion and bring out the best in our nation, Charlie. Hopefully what presidents do is to try to bring the country together, to unify around common goals and not to debase our country, if you will. And that has not happened. And I’m beginning to believe that it’s not going to happen.

And I think that’s what President Bush, President Obama, many others have been concerned about, as it appears to be the governing model of this White House to purposely divide. I mean, that’s what happened after the Virginia incident. It’s to consolidate base, not to bring people together and to bring out the better angels of those people in our country. This is a great nation, and without us doing that, it really not only affects us and future generations, but it affects the world. And so, I hope – I don’t really hold out a lot of hope, but I hope that somehow a little bit different course of action can be taken.

GAYLE KING: We keep hearing privately, Senator Corker, that many people feel the way you do. So, what’s being done about it on Capitol Hill?

CORKER: Well, look, you know, we’re separate and equal branches, but there’s tremendous power that resides in the White House. One of the things we’re going to be doing, beginning a week from this coming Monday night, we’re going to begin to walk through a series of discussions about the authorization for the use of military force, what powers the President has, talk about some of the international alignments that we have that are very important to our country, making the American people even more aware of some of the destructive things that are happening.

So, you know, that’s one thing we can do. We can also be a check legislatively. But, look, an individual in that particular position has tremendous power to set the tone for our country. And, unfortunately, it's being set in a way that I think is not bringing out the best in the citizens that we all treasure here in our country. So, you know, I’m doing the best I can without, you know, trying to do so in a statesman-like manner. But I think this is shared by many Americans.

KING: Do you feel freer to speak out the way you do because you have announced that you’re not running?

CORKER: You know, I spoke out before I announced I wasn’t running. I think everybody’s aware of that. It’s been building for some time. I made very strong comments after the incident in Virginia when, again, it felt like the President was just trying to consolidate a base of people that – and do so in a way that, again, I thought was very inappropriate. Even before that, I’ve made comments. So it’s been building for some time. And, look, I came up here on a two-term mission. I told people in Tennessee that I couldn’t imagine serving more than two terms. So, I have felt Independence really the entire time I’ve been in the Senate.

(...)

 

Good Morning America
7:11 AM ET

(...)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve had some tough words for President Trump. You compared the White House to an adult day-care center, you said he’s putting us perhaps on the path towards World War III, and said most of your colleagues agree with you behind closed doors. Any second thoughts about those comments?

SEN. BOB CORKER [R-TN]: No, George, I don’t make comments that I haven’t thought about. The first comment was obviously in response to a very fallacious tweet that the President sent out. The second comment, really when you look at the fact that we’ve got this issue in North Korea and the President continues to kneecap his diplomatic representative, the Secretary of State, and really move him away from successful diplomatic negotiations with China, which is key to this, you're taking us on a path to combat.

And so, you know, I want to support these efforts that are underway. The President undermines our Secretary of State, raises tensions in the area by virtue of the tweets that he sends out, and I would just like for him to leave it to the professionals for a while and see if we can do something that’s constructive for our country, the region, and the world.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sounds like no second thoughts. Senator, thanks for your time.     

(...)

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