What’s dangerously serious about Trump’s feud with Corker


THE TAKE with ABC News’ Rick Klein

What happened to the calm part? The storms have begun, and just might spill over into real wars before they’re done. Sen. Bob Corker’s public feud with President Trump is no mere war of words, even in the Trumpian insult era. Corker is blowing the lid off of months of private frustrations and worries, harbored by erstwhile allies of the president, that the commander-in-chief is reckless, dishonest and could put the nation “on the path to World War III,” as Corker told The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,” Corker said. Combine that with the tensions between Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly, and this has far bigger consequences than your typical Twitter feud. Just words? Perhaps. But they are words that are spurring confrontation with a nuclear-armed North Korea, and more words will come this week that could lead Iran to restart its own nuclear program. Corker’s reference to the White House as an “adult day care center” suggests that grown-ups are ultimately in charge. This may be the week that tests that proposition, and sorts out high-level presidential strategy from absolute and dangerous recklessness.

Deal or no deal?

Does the president even want a deal? Issues that affect the nation and the world do not get solved in a vacuum, and the Trump White House should know that by now. President Trump may have wanted some help from Sen. Chuck Schumer on health care Saturday. But the hardline immigration demands laid out by the Trump administration Sunday would seem to blow up any preliminary deal reached across the aisle just a few weeks ago. The list of immigration policies the White House put out last night might not be surprising, considering the president’s campaign promises and the views of some on his own staff. But the proposals are non-starters to Democrats who had hoped to find a middle ground to take care of so-called Dreamers. The vast majority of Americans support a right to residency for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. Eighty-six percent of Americans, including three-quarters of Republicans, support that proposition, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. If the White House wants some wins, a deal to help those 800,000 young immigrants in the DACA program could be an easy get, ABC NEWS’ MARYALICE PARKS writes.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • Explosive feud: Retiring Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told The New York Times Trump is treating the White House like a “reality show,” and that his threats to other countries could set us “on the path to World War III.” “I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true,” he said.
  • Does he want a deal? The Trump administration sent Congress a list of “immigration policy priorities to be met for any deal to protect Dreamers. The wish list, sent along with a formal letter to congressional leaders Sunday night, would increase immigration enforcement, reduce legal immigration and call for building a wall.
  • Iran week: President Trump is moving toward decertifying the Iran nuclear deal but China is calling on the U.S. to keep the deal intact.

  • WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

    Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence will join House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in Sacramento, California, to meet with local businesses, community leaders and families to discuss tax reform in the U.S.

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    I asked Pence to leave [the] stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and Karen,” President Trump tweeted Sunday, praising Vice President Pence’s decision to leave the Indianapolis Colts game early after players knelt during the national anthem.


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    Vice President Pence leaves Colts game early after players kneel during national anthem. Vice President Mike Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game early Sunday after players with the opposing team knelt during the national anthem. Pence announced his departure on Twitter, saying he would not “dignify any event” that disrespects the anthem, the flag or U.S. soldiers. http://abcn.ws/2y90ZGp

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    North Korean leader hails nuclear arsenal as ‘powerful deterrent.’ The New York Times

    Trump executive order could divide the health insurance market. The Wall Street Journal

    Traveling in style: Trump’s White House wrestles with cabinet costs. The Washington Post

    Bannon plans to back challengers to most GOP senators. Bloomberg

    Source.