Getty Images
Now playing
01:51
Bannon calls for Sen. Bob Corker to resign
Getty Images/Win McNamee/Mark Wilson
Now playing
01:31
Bob Corker's biggest Trump criticisms
Bob Corker 102517
CNN
Bob Corker 102517
Now playing
01:01
Corker: I don't care what comes out of the WH
Chip Somodevilla/Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Now playing
03:20
"Little Bob" Corker and Trump make up
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24:  Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) walks to a committee hearing after speaking to members of the press on Capitol Hill about U.S. President Donald Trump October 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) walks to a committee hearing after speaking to members of the press on Capitol Hill about U.S. President Donald Trump October 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:53
Corker's hashtag becomes viral hit
Corker
CNN
Corker
Now playing
02:56
Corker: Leaders know what Trump says is untrue
corker tsr
CNN
corker tsr
Now playing
02:50
Blitzer presses Corker on tax vote flip
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Senators from both parties are scrambling to react to President Donald Trump's surprise dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill May 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Senators from both parties are scrambling to react to President Donald Trump's surprise dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.
Now playing
02:05
Trump wrong on Bob Corker and Iran Deal
bob corker tax bill sot_00000914.jpg
bob corker tax bill sot_00000914.jpg
Now playing
00:55
Sen. Corker distances himself from tax bill
Getty Images
Now playing
02:09
Corker's tumultuous relationship with Trump
Conway
NBC
Conway
Now playing
02:40
Conway's double standard on Trump's tweets
Now playing
01:30
Corker: Tillerson not getting support he needs
The White House is pictured on January 19, 2013 in Washington DC.
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The White House is pictured on January 19, 2013 in Washington DC.
Now playing
00:46
Sen. Corker: White House in a downward spiral
corker trump hasn't demonstrated stability_00000223.jpg
WTVC
corker trump hasn't demonstrated stability_00000223.jpg
Now playing
00:52
Corker: Trump hasn't demonstrated stability
Tim Scott Bob Corker GOP senators criticize Trump lead_00000000.jpg
WTVC / Vice News
Tim Scott Bob Corker GOP senators criticize Trump lead_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:35
Two GOP senators speak out against Trump

Story highlights

The feud between Corker and Trump escalated this weekend

The clash highlights fraying relations between the President and his party on Capitol Hill

Asked if Corker should resign, WH press secretary said "I think that's a decision for Senator Corker and the people of Tennessee"

Washington CNN —  

President Donald Trump’s public feud with a top Republican on Capitol Hill has entered the name-calling phase.

Sen. Bob Corker, the retiring Republican chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, has engaged in a heated back-and-forth with Trump for days now, including in an interview with The New York Times where he said that he feared Trump was steering the nation “on the path to World War III.”

The President, a politician whose mantra has long been to hit back harder than someone hits him, is now treating Corker like he did his primary opponents: By giving him a nickname.

“The Failing @nytimes set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “Was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!”

A transcript of the conversation, however, shows that the newspaper did not set Corker up and that the senator was well aware that he was on the record.

“So have at it,” Corker told the reporter. “I understand we’re on the record. I don’t like normally talking to you on the record – I’m kidding you – but I will.”

Asked about Corker’s comments, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters, “Sen. Corker is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but he’s not entitled to his own facts.”

“The facts certainly don’t lie, the President has certainly been very successful,” she continued.

Asked if Corker should resign, Sanders said that decision is not for the White House to make. “I think that’s a decision for Sen. Corker and the people of Tennessee,” Sanders said.

Trump continued his feud with Corker during a Tuesday meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, pushing back on the senator’s statement that Trump is putting the United States on a path toward World War III.

“We were on the wrong path before. All you have to do is take a look,” he said when asked if Corker was right. “Now we’re on the right path.”

Trump labeling Corker “liddle” is a throwback to the 2016 campaign, when he gave Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, then a presidential candidate himself, the same moniker.

“I’m the writer,” Trump told New York magazine in 2016. “Let me start with Little Marco. He just looked like Little Marco to me. And it’s not Little. It’s Liddle. L-I-D-D-L-E. And it’s not L-Y-I-N-G Ted Cruz. It’s L-Y-I-N apostrophe. Ted’s a liar, so that was easy.”

The feud between Corker and Trump had escalated this weekend when the President tweeted that the outgoing senator “begged” for his endorsement before declining to run for re-election.

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

Todd Womack, Corker’s chief of staff, denied the claim later in the day.

“The President called Senator Corker on Monday afternoon and asked him to reconsider his decision not to seek re-election and reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him, as he has said many times,” Womack said in a statement.

Corker, in the New York Times interview, said that Trump is acting “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something,” and added that he could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

The comment comes a week after Corker jabbed Trump, stating that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly “help separate our country from chaos.”

The clash between Corker and Trump highlights fraying relations between the President and the men and women in Congress who the White House needs to deliver on the agenda Trump ran on. Trump has yet to score a signature legislative victory, a black mark on his record given his party controls both the Senate and House.

Trump said Tuesday that he didn’t think his feud with Corker would imperil his tax cut plan.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think so at all,” he said. “I think we are well on our way.”

Corker’s comments have already infuriated Trump’s base. Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist who was let go from the White House earlier this year, called on the senator to resign in response.

“If Bob Corker has any honor, any decency, he should resign immediately,” Bannon said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday night.