Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declined repeatedly on Wednesday to say whether he had confidence in Donald Trump’s foreign policy proposals.
During an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Mika Brzezinski asked Corker pointedly whether he had “confidence in Donald Trump as commander in chief, especially as it pertains to foreign policy.” Corker gave a meandering answer that touched on just about everything except Trump and foreign policy and instead said he is waiting for the debates to make a decision.
“Neither of the campaigns, to my knowledge, have laid out much of anything that is specific relative to getting people back to work, growing our economy, dealing with the entitlement program, dealing with the massive debt which is the greatest threat to our nation, dealing with any of these issues,” Corker said. “I think the appropriate response for all of us is to when these debates occur, and people have to tease out these very specific issues, hopefully moderators are gonna push that, then we can judge.”
Trump, who has been running for president since June 2015, has had numerous occasions to lay out his vision of U.S. foreign policy, though has lacked specifics. In April, he gave a major speech on the topic, saying he would always put “America first.” He has also said he would “bomb the shit out of ISIS” and understands the terrorist group better than “the generals.” He has suggested that the United States wouldn’t automatically defend NATO countries attacked by Russia.
Corker has appeared on the campaign trail with Trump and was considered a potential vice presidential pick for the GOP nominee, but withdrew his name in July.
When Corker told Brzezinski he was focused on the remainder of the Obama administration, she called him out for avoiding the question.
“I’m sorry, that’s just not an answer to the question. I have to be respectful, but I’m sorry, I just asked if you had confidence in Donald Trump as commander in chief as it pertains to foreign policy, that’s pretty much a yes/no question. It’s not about Obama.”
Corker responded by saying that he was confident Trump was getting a better grasp of foreign policy.
“Donald Trump is deepening in what he is throwing out, he’s shaking up the foreign policy establishment and I think we’re gonna have a much clearer sense of where he is as he moves ahead,” he said.
“I do believe that Donald Trump is growing in his understanding of these issues and I think he’s beginning to get more and more people around him that have a depth of understanding as to the complexities and I’m watching this evolve,” Corker continued. “And look, we’ll all make our assessments, will we not at the end of October and early November as to whether we have faith or not.”