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Tennessee Senator could add to President' Trump's troubles

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A Vanderbilt political scientist says Tennessee Senator Bob Corker could further fracture an already deeply divided Republican Party.

Corker heads the U.S. Senate’s powerful Foreign Relations Committee. The Senator reacted harshly this past week to the possibility that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russian diplomats. Corker was quoted saying the White House seemed to be “in a downward spiral.”

Republican led committees in the House and Senate are already looking into possible connections between Trump associates and Russian efforts to influence the 2016 elections. Some Republican legislators have also reacted negatively to the President’s proposals for drastic cuts to the federal budgets.

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Credit vanderbilt.edu
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Dr. Thomas Schwartz

Vanderbilt Professor Dr. Thomas Schwartz says Senator Corker could add to the president’s woes by challenging his foreign policy, especially with regard to Russia.

“I do wonder whether Corker, who is probably closer to people like John McCain and Lindsey Graham in their skepticism of Vladimir Putin and their dislike of Russian policy -- whether he will make this into an issue to take a stand against the administration.”

Dr. Schwartz says there is precedent for such a challenge. He notes the Senate Foreign Relations Committee successfully defied President Lyndon Johnson’s prosecution of the war in Vietnam.

Professor Schwartz says if Corker decides to do the same, it will be still more bad news for the GOP.

“This would go a long way toward really fracturing the Republican Party and creating a very dangerous situation for the mid-term elections and for Trump’s presidency.”

Schwartz says Corker’s Foreign Relations Committee could create what he calls “an environment of hostility” towards the president’s foreign policy.