Sen. Bob Corker. Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

Sen. Bob Corker unloaded on President Trump during a CNN interview today, stating that Trump will be most remembered for "the debasement of our nation." Corker also said that he "would not" support Trump again, though he stopped short of saying that Trump should be removed from office.

Don't forget: Trump is heading to Capitol Hill for a Senate Republican policy lunch this afternoon. Corker will be in attendance.

Their backstory

Back in April 2016, Corker stopped short of explicitly endorsing Trump, instead telling CNN that he'd made a "really good transition in the campaign." But the lack of a full-throated endorsement didn't stop Corker from being floated as Trump's running mate or secretary of state.

The Tennessee senator was also quick to criticize the administration after reports that Trump had accidentally disclosed classified intelligence to top Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting in May, saying that Trump's White House was in a "downward spiral." And after Trump's botched response to the Charlottesville violence, he told local Chattanooga website Nooga that Trump "has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful."

However, it was Corker's September 14 announcement that he would not be seeking reelection to the Senate in 2018 that fully allowed him to open up against the president. In October, he told reporters that the group of Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Defense Secretary John Mattis "separate our country from chaos." Later that week, Trump blasted Corker on Twitter, stating that Corker's comments were precipitated by Trump's refusal to endorse Corker in his upcoming Senate race. Corker then responded with his infamous retort that "the White House has become an adult day care center."

What happened today:

How it all kicked off: Corker appeared on both NBC News' TODAY and ABC News' Good Morning America earlier this morning, where he doubled down on his comments earlier this month that the White House is an "adult daycare center," adding, "I don't make comments I haven't thought about."

Trump responded on Twitter: President Trump continued his attacks against Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker via Twitter this morning: "Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts....Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!

Corker's fired back on Twitter just before his CNN interview: "Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #AlertTheDaycareStaff"

Trump responded to the CNN interview, again via Twitter: "Sen. Corker is the incompetent head of the Foreign Relations Committee, & look how poorly the U.S. has done. He doesn't have a clue as the entire World WAS laughing and taking advantage of us. People like liddle' Bob Corker have set the U.S. way back. Now we move forward!"

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 34,026,003 — Total deaths: 1,015,107 — Total recoveries: 23,680,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 7,237,043 — Total deaths: 207,008 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Health: New poll shows alarming coronavirus vaccine skepticism — New research centers will study "long-haul" COVID — Coronavirus infections rise in 25 states.
  4. Business: Remdesivir is good business for Gilead.
  5. Transportation: The politics of pandemic driving.
  6. 🎧Podcast: The looming second wave of airline layoffs.
2 hours ago - Technology

Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech CEOs

Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool via Getty Images

The Senate Commerce Committee has voted to authorize subpoenas compelling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify before the panel.

Why it matters: The tech giants are yet again facing a potential grilling on Capitol Hill sometime before the end of the year, at a time when tech is being used as a punching bag from both the left and right.

Trump administration cuts refugee cap to new record low

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration plans to only admit a maximum of 15,000 refugees this fiscal year, the State Department said in a release late Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: This is yet another record-low refugee cap. Before leaving office, President Obama set the refugee limit at 110,000 for fiscal year 2017 — a number Trump has continued to slash throughout his presidency.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!