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Sunday December 17th, 2017 4:36PM

The Latest: Trump and GOP senator trade barbs on Twitter

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. (all times local):

9:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump's Twitter feud with Sen. Bob Corker is spiraling out of control. Trump fired off a tweet storm this morning that accused Corker of lacking the guts to run for re-election.

Corker responded with a jab of his own. He tweeted: "It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

In an interview Sunday with The New York Times, Corker said Trump could set the U.S. "on the path to World War III" with threats toward other countries. Corker also said Trump acted as if he was on his old reality-TV show and that he concerned the senator, adding, "He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."

Corker also said his concerns about Trump were shared by nearly every Senate Republican, the Times reported.

___

5:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Sen. Bob Corker have traded barbed tweets in an unusually harsh exchange between a president and a senator from his own party.

Trump began Sunday morning by stating that the Tennessee Republican had "begged" him for an endorsement for his re-election campaign. Trump says he turned him down and that Corker then decided not to run again because he couldn't win without Trump's backing. The president also contended that Corker "didn't have the guts to run" for a third term.

Corker responded with a jab of his own. He tweeted: "It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

A spokesman for Corker also disputed a key Trump assertion, saying that Trump in fact told the senator he would have endorsed him for another term.

___

1:55 p.m.

The chief of staff for Sen. Bob Corker says President Donald Trump called the Tennessee Republican last week and asked him to reconsider his decision not to run for re-election in 2018.

Corker aide Todd Womack also says Trump "reaffirmed that he would have endorsed" the senator, "as he has said many times."

That word comes a short time after Trump had claimed on Twitter that Corker had "begged" for a presidential endorsement, and when Trump said "NO," Corker "dropped out."

Trump tweets that Corker "Didn't have the guts to run."

___

11:35 a.m.

Sen. Bob Corker is hitting back against President Donald Trump after a series of Trump tweets attacked the Tennessee Republican.

It's an extraordinary back-and-forth bashing on social media between a Republican president and a senator from his own party.

Here's what Corker is saying: "It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

Trump tweeted that he expected Corker to be an obstacle to the White House agenda's and charged that Corker "didn't have the guts to run" for re-election in 2018.

Trump accused Corker of being "largely responsible for the "horrendous" nuclear deal with Iran. But it was the Obama administration that negotiated that agreement.

__

11:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is aiming a series of stinging tweets at a retiring Republican senator who's taken a critical line toward the White House.

Trump's targeting Tennessee's Bob Corker, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman who's not running for re-election in 2018.

Corker's apparently drawn Trump's ire for saying recently that the Pentagon chief, the secretary of state and Trump's own chief of staff are "those people that help separate our country from chaos."

Trump tweets that Corker "begged" for a presidential endorsement for re-election. Trump says he said "no" and then Corker decided not to run. But The Associated Press has reported that Trump and Corker met privately at the White House last month, and Trump urged Corker to run.

Trump says he now expects his fellow Republican "to be a negative voice and stand in the way" of the White House's agenda. And Trump's accusing Corker of being "largely responsible" for the landmark Iran nuclear deal.

But the Obama administration negotiated the international agreement, and Corker tried to require that President Barack Obama submit it to Congress for approval.

___

8:15 a.m.

Sen. Bob Corker is always one to speak his mind.

The Tennessee Republican's new free agent status should make President Donald Trump and the party even more nervous.

The two-term senator isn't seeking re-election. That gives him even more elbow room to say what he wants and to vote how he pleases over the next 15 months as Trump and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill struggle to get their agenda on track.

Corker's a fiscal hawk and he's holding the GOP's feet to the fire on legislation to rewrite the tax system.

He says he'll oppose any legislation that increases the national debt by a single cent.

Republicans hold a narrow, 52-seat majority in the Senate. Just three defections would torpedo the party's top legislative priority in their partisan push.

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