A Republican senator is rebuking President Donald Trump over his Charlottesville comments, saying he hasn't yet shown he's ready to be a success as commander-in-chief.
While Trump promises to "make America great again", Corker said, "he has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great".
Another Republican senator who has sometimes been critical of Trump, Susan Collins of ME, said Thursday, "The president should've spoken out far more strongly from the very beginning". As chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he's in frequent contact with both the president and the State Department, but he's previously offered sharp criticism of the White House's string of scandals.
Republicans have been denouncing the president's handling of a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
Mr. Corker said there must be "radical changes" at the White House, although he did not elaborate.
"I don't think that the president has appropriately spoken to the nation on this issue", Corker said.
But he took aim at Trump for his Tuesday comments that played to the extremist wing of his political base and sparked condemnation from Republican lawmakers as well as business leaders and others. "And we need for him to be successful".
Trump in a Thursday tweet called them "our handsome statues and monuments" and said "you can't change history, but you can learn from it". Jeff Flake of Arizona as "toxic" and said Sen. Certainly. But it will be harder if they actively oppose him rather than doing what many of them, including Corker, did in 2016 - give him substantial cover even as they withhold their official endorsement.
Corker's criticism comes after his Senate Republican colleagues Lindsey Graham of SC and Jeff Flake of Arizona. "But let's put it in a museum", Corker said of the monuments.
But Corker's public lashing of Trump suggests growing concern that his presidency could tarnish Republicans more broadly.
The Senator said this Thursday in Chattanooga. He has not been able to step up and speak to the issues in an appropriate way that finally.
The president is in bigger trouble in the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority and angry Democrats have united against him in a chamber that requires 60 votes to pass most major legislation. Here's what I got back from Corker's communications director, Micah Johnson: "I don't have anything to add to the senator's comments yesterday".
Two major charities, the Cleveland Clinic and the American Cancer Society, announced they are canceling fundraisers scheduled for Trump's resort in Palm Beach, Florida, amid the continuing backlash over Trump's remarks.
A group of House Democrats said this week that they will introduce the resolution to censure Trump for the "both sides" comment and for excusing the behavior of participants in the rally. "One of the biggest risks for Trump is that Mueller comes out with a damning report and the president has already lost the goodwill of too many members of Congress".
In Alabama's Senate race, Trump's interests seemed to align with Senate leaders when he tweeted an endorsement and recorded a robocall for Sen.