Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) chided Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) on Tuesday when asked about the recurring war of words between the senator and President Donald Trump.
“Bob Corker, I think, is going a little too far out there talking about World War III, failed presidency, et cetera, I don’t quite understand where he’s coming from with that,” Kinzinger said in an interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan.
Earlier in the interview, the congressman joked: “Nothing like a good Republican food fight in front of the nation and the world.”
Corker, who announced his retirement from the Senate last month, has emerged as a vocal critic of the President, though he has still voted for White House-approved legislation the overwhelming majority of the time.
On Tuesday, the senator said of Trump: “I think at the end of the day when his term is over, I think the debasement of our nation is what he’ll be remembered most for, and that’s regretful.”
Trump, predictably, responded in kind.
“I wish he would tone down some of the personal stuff,” Kinzinger said of Trump. “This isn’t helpful for tax reform. It’s not helpful for our reputation in the world, and especially as Bob Corker is the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, those are some big issues coming in front of him.”
But Kinzinger stopped short of endorsing Corker’s assertion that Trump “has great difficulty with the truth.”
“There’s obviously some times when he says things that are untruthful,” Kinzinger said of the President. “That happens frankly everywhere in politics. I don’t want to necessarily get into the middle of this Corker versus Trump fight because I think, frankly, it’s not good, not just for our party, but I think for the country.”
“The President is actually doing a lot of good things internationally,” Kinzinger said, praising Trump’s “unpredictability on Twitter” as “actually beneficial.”
Kinzinger said he disagreed with Corker’s assertion that “Trump’s leading us to World War III,” in the congressman’s words.
“I think that’s way overly dramatic, and I think the President has great people around him that are kind of tempering his— whatever he would do internationally, giving him good advice, et cetera.”
“I don’t think he’s unstable, and everybody’s sitting around, going, ‘Oh, he’s unstable and we just can’t say it because we’re running for re-election,” Kinzinger said, referencing another of Corker’s criticisms.
The congressman acknowledged that Trump “needs to lay off some of the emotion on Twitter.”
Kinzinger said he didn’t think Trump’s term was “a failure,” Bolduan’s characterization of Corker’s comments.
“And this is, again, where I have massive disagreements with Sen. Corker,” Kinzinger said.
“I’ve seen the President rise to a lot of occasions,” he added, praising Trump’s order of a missile strike on a Syrian air field. “He’s risen to the occasion on ISIS,” the congressman added, without specifying further.
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