Bob Corker’s public lambasting of President Donald Trump is admirable, but it’s not enough to erase memories of the role the Tennessee senator played in the upstart politician’s rise to the White House. Months before the the Republican announced his retirement in part because Trump was “debasing the nation,” Corker was not only a valued political ally of the president, he on numerous occasions defended the same Trump traits he has since disparaged.
While Black people have typically been [too] forgiving, this is one instance where it’s even important not to forget that Corker has repeatedly defended Trump’s blatant racism.
Jeff Sessions for attorney general
Corker voted for Sessions to become the nation’s top law enforcement official and lauded the Alabama senator’s “years of expertise and respect for the rule of law” despite Sessions’ proven history of racial discrimination (read: illegal) against Black people. In fact, Corker defended Sessions from Trump’s attacks just this past summer, telling the Washington Post that “I wish it would stop.”
Corker denied Trump’s campaign was based on racism
When asked for a reaction to the Ku Klux Klan celebrating Trump as a White supremacist, Corker played dumb, according to the Nashville Scene publication. “I have no knowledge of what the groups that you’re talking about think or know or who they’re supporting,” Corker told Blake Farmer of WPLN.
Corker says Trump is not racist
In response to Trump questioning the abilities of a federal judge because of his Mexican heritage, Slate wrote that Corker deflected. “It’s not just about his comment. What we have here is a country in crisis. … And this guy is talking about a different direction,” Corker said last summer.
Corker is a hypocrite when it comes to the topic of racism
As a senate candidate in 2006, Corker slammed a political ad in his favor for “race baiting.” But its his support for Trump as a candidate and throughout most of his presidency, Corker sang a different song, until recently.
Corker didn’t rebuke Trump’s defense of White supremacists
In the wake of the deadly, racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past summer, Corker refused to condemn Trump’s characterization of White nationalists as “fine people.” Like many of his Republican colleague, Corker could have taken the opportunity to say anything but: “Look, I let the president’s comments speak for themselves.”