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Sen. Bob Corker (R) lets loose on Trump: 'There needs to be radical changes ... at the White House

Sen. Bob Corker (above) (R-Tenn.) criticized President Donald Trump after a rotary meeting Thursday. "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," Corker said. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) said  Thursday that President Donald Trump has not yet shown that he has what it takes to be a successful leader of the nation.

Talking to reporters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, during a stop at a local rotary club meeting, Corker blasted Trump across the board, from his lack of competence to his handling of the recent Charlottesville protests.

"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," said Corker, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"He also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation. He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today," Corker said.  "And he's got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that. And without the things that I just mentioned happening, our nation is going to go through great peril."

Corker said he believes Trump needs to set aside trivial issues and focus on the country.

"We're at a point where there needs to be radical changes taking place at the White House itself. It has to happen," he said.  "I think the president needs to take stock of the role he plays in our nation and move beyond himself — move way beyond himself and move to a place where daily, he's waking up thinking about what is best for our nation."

When pressed on his call for radical changes to happen, and whether he meant changes to the White House staff or the attitude of the president himself, Corker simply answered, "I just ... there needs to be a different approach."

Corker was also asked about Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who was recently attacked by Trump on Twitter. He strongly defended Flake, calling him "one of the finest human beings" he had ever met.

As the subject turned to the recent violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, Corker had even more harsh criticisms of Trump.

"I don't think that the president has appropriately spoken to the nation on this issue," he said. "I think that sometimes he gets in a situation where he doubles down to try to prove ... make a wrong a right. I think he’s done that in this case, and I would ask that he take stock of who he is as president of all the people in this nation, and that he condemn all those things that are separating us."

When reporters asked Corker to comment on Trump's controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon and whether he should continue to play a role in the White House administration, Corker simply responded, "I don't get into personalities."

Shortly after Trump's victory in November, Corker had been speculated to be on Trump's list of candidates for secretary of state.


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