News World ‘Reckless’ Trump threatens World War III, says US Senator
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‘Reckless’ Trump threatens World War III, says US Senator

Donald Trump Bob Corker
Donald Trump has been slammed by former ally Bob Corker. Photo: Getty
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Donald Trump is treating the US presidency like “a reality show” and making reckless threats that could put the world “on the path to World War III”, according to the chairman of the US foreign relations committee.

In an extraordinary condemnation of Mr Trump, Republican Senator Bob Corker said the President acts “like he’s doing The Apprentice or something.”

“He concerns me … he would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,” Mr Corker told The New York Times in a 25-minute phone interview following a day-long Twitter spat between the two former friends.

At the height of that spat, Mr Corker said Mr Trump had turned the White House into “an adult day care centre”.

But he went much further in the Times interview, alleging senior White House officials spend most of their days trying to rein in Mr Trump’s worst instincts.

“I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” the Times quoted the Senator as saying.

He accused the president of undercutting Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and his attempts at finding a diplomatic solution to the North Korea crisis.

“A lot of people think that there is some kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ act underway, but that’s just not true,” Mr Corker said of the relationship between the president and Mr Tillerson.

The president had undermined diplomatic efforts with his heavy-handed use of Twitter too.

“I know he has hurt, in several instances, he’s hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out,” Mr Corker said.

The Times reported that while Mr Corker wouldn’t directly answer when asked whether he thought Mr. Trump was fit for the presidency, he did say the commander in chief was not fully aware of the power of his office.

“I don’t think he appreciates that when the president of the United States speaks and says the things that he does, the impact that it has around the world, especially in the region that he’s addressing,” he said. “And so, yeah, it’s concerning to me.”

The White House refused to comment on Senator Corker’s attack. Mr Trump had made no direct response on Twitter by Monday morning, but did reiterate an earlier position on North Korea.

“Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing. Policy didn’t work!,” he tweeted early Monday morning, a public holiday in much of the US.

The war of words began early Sunday morning with a series of derisive posts from Mr Trump, blaming Sen Corker for the Iran nuclear deal and saying the senator wanted the secretary of state job.

Sen Corker had been considered by Mr Trump for the secretary of state position in the months after the November 8 US election, before oil executive Rex Tillerson was handed the position.

Mr Corker, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, has been critical of Mr Trump in recent months, including over the handling of a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August.

“Senator Bob Corker ‘begged’ me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said ‘NO’ and he dropped out (said he could not win without my endorsement),” Mr Trump wrote.

“He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said ‘NO THANKS.’ He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!

“Hence, I would fully expect Corker to be a negative voice and stand in the way of our great agenda. Didn’t have the guts to run!”

Mr Corker, whose retirement is a blow to the Republican Party struggling to balance divisions between mainstream and more populist wings, said in his tweet on Sunday: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care centre. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

Mr Trump has long criticised the 2015 international nuclear pact, a signature foreign policy achievement of former president Barack Obama in which Iran agreed to reduce its nuclear program in exchange for easing of sanctions.

Last week, when asked about reported tensions between Mr Trump and Mr Tillerson, Mr Corker’s response was seen as a jab at Trump.

“I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos,” he said, referring to Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House chief of staff John Kelly.

Mr Corker also said Mr Tillerson was “in an incredibly frustrating place” where he “ends up not being supported in the way that I hope a secretary of state would be supported”, according to media reports.

Sunday was not the first time Trump has tweeted about Mr Corker and his apparent waffling about whether or not he should seek another Senate term.

In August, Mr Trump said Mr Corker was “constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18”.

That was after the senator’s remarks on the President’s response to the Charlottesville demonstration.

Mr Corker said, “The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”

In the Times interview following the Twitter spat, Mr Corker rejected all of his presidents allegations.

-With AAP

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