WASHINGTON — Exactly one year ago, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was arguing that a Donald Trump presidency would endanger America’s national security — and possibly lead to war.
“I spent many years as a nuclear missile launch officer. If the president gave the order, we had to launch the missiles. That would be it,” went one Clinton TV ad. “I prayed that call would never come. Self-control may be all that keeps these missiles from firing… The thought of Donald Trump with nuclear weapons scares me to death. It should scare everyone.”
Raise your hand if you predicted, on the 262nd day of Trump’s time in office, that a fellow Republican — who just happens to be chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — would be making a similar argument.
“Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like ‘a reality show,’ with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation ‘on the path to World War III,’” the New York Times reported Sunday night.
More Corker: “‘Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here,’ he said, adding that ‘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.’”
And: “‘I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true,’ [Corker] said. ‘You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does.’”
So in the past week, we’ve learned that fellow Republicans and members of Trump’s cabinet have 1) referred to the president as a “moron” (Secretary of State Rex Tillerson); 2) called the White House “an adult day care center”(Corker); and 3) stated that Trump’s threats could set the nation “on the path to World War III” (Corker again).
These back-to-back-to-back rebukes aren’t coming from Never-Trumpers inside the party; they’re coming from the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the sitting secretary of state. Add them up, and what these stunning criticisms do is diminish ANY credibility the Trump White House has on topics like North Korea, backing out of the Iran nuclear deal or simply saying things like “It’s the calm before the storm,” as Trump did last week.
Just this morning, Trump tweeted, “Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing. Policy didn’t work!”
Now reflect on that tweet after Corker’s interview with the New York Times.