(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the FBI and the Justice Department could do irreparable harm to American democracy, Republican Senator Bob Corker said.
“I do not like the tearing down of institutions and I’ve shared that with him,” Corker of Tennessee, who is retiring at the end of the year, told reporters at a breakfast Wednesday hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “Continual tearing down of institutions in order to inspire your base and keep yourself protected with your base, to me, is damaging to our nation."
Trump has stepped up his criticism of James Comey after the fired FBI director’s book detailing his interactions with the president was published this week, saying on Twitter Wednesday that “Slippery James Comey, the worst FBI Director in history, was not fired because of the phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems)!”
Trump has also slammed prosecutors for seizing records at the office of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, writing on Twitter that the raid was a sign that “Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past.” Legal experts disagreed with that view.
‘Comatose’ or Useless
Corker, who has traded barbs with the president several times over the past year after initially being considered a candidate for secretary of state, said that any Republican senator who hasn’t felt conflicted about Trump has either been “comatose or pretty useless in their blindness, OK? And we’ve got some of both.”
The comments echoed those of Republican Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who says he will be retiring “in the coming weeks” rather than serving out his term. He said on MSNBC on Wednesday that “since Donald Trump has stepped into the breach the litmus test has become loyalty to The Man.” He said his party should have shown more spine by criticizing Trump forcefully on efforts to undo trade deals, the neo-Nazi role in violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and vilifying Muslims.
Corker’s remarks came in response to a question about whether the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would vote for Trump again, which he declined to answer.
Asked about legislation that would prevent the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller by Trump, Corker said he had “no reason to have anything but faith in what Mueller is doing.” He said he would support a bill to protect Mueller but doubted Trump would sign it into law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he won’t bring such legislation to the floor for a vote.
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