Washington, United States | AFP | A top Republican senator joined other members of his party in criticizing US President Donald Trump on Thursday, saying he had not displayed the stability or competence needed to lead the country and risks putting it in “great peril.”
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is the latest member of Trump’s Republican Party to slam the president over his response to weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I do think there need to be some radical changes,” Corker told reporters in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Video of the exchange was posted on the news site Nooga.com.
“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.
“And we need for him to be successful,” he said. “Our nation needs for him to be successful. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Republican or a Democrat.”
Corker said Trump “has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today.
“And without the things that I just mentioned happening our nation is going to go through great peril,” he said.
A woman was killed and 19 people injured in Charlottesville on Saturday when a suspected white nationalist drove his car into a group of counter-demonstrators.
Trump has come under fire for saying the anti-racism protestors were equally to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, where white nationalist groups held a rally to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
“I don’t think that the president has appropriately spoken to the nation on this issue,” Corker said.
“I would ask that he take stock of who he is as president of all the people in our nation and that he condemn those things that separate us.
“Helping inspire divisions because it generates support from your political base is not a formula for causing our nation to advance,” he said.
Corker also defended a fellow Republican senator, Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has been a target of attacks by the president.
Trump attacked Flake on Twitter on Thursday and also lashed out at another Republican senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has been critical of his response to the Charlottesville events.