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Corker speaks at an event in Tennessee. Photo: Erik Schelzig / AP

After the dust cleared from a Twitter brawl in which President Trump accused him of lacking "guts" and he compared the White House to an "adult day care center," Republican Sen. Bob Corker told The New York Times he believes Trump is out of control, and dangerous:

"He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."

Corker refuted Trump's claims that he had begged for an endorsement for 2018 and backed out when he didn't receive one, saying Trump had actually urged him to run: "I don't know why the president tweets out things that are not true. You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does," he said.

Key quotes
  • "I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it's a situation of trying to contain him."
  • He acts "like he's doing 'The Apprentice' or something."
  • On how fellow GOP senators feel: "Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we're dealing with here... of course they 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."
  • On Trump undermining Tillerson: "A lot of people think that there is some kind of 'good cop, bad cop' act underway, but that's just not true."
  • On Trump's tweets harming U.S. foreign policy: "I know he has hurt, in several instances, he's hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out."

The Times' take: "In a 25-minute conversation, Mr. Corker, speaking carefully and purposefully, seemed to almost find cathartic satisfaction by portraying Mr. Trump in terms that most senior Republicans use only in private."

Why it matters: Corker remains influential, and his breaking from Trump so publicly could lead others to speak out. Perhaps more significantly, the retiring Senator still holds a vote until Jan. 2019 in a Senate the Republicans control by a two-vote margin. He's highly skeptical of Trump's tax plan, and may be tough to get onside on other key issues.

Go deeper

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.

Trump pressures Barr to release so-called Durham report

Bill Barr. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.