Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told his constituents in Chattanooga, Tennessee over the weekend that the Trump “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order for him to be successful.”
Republicans strategists say the comment was an indirect jab at the Republican head of state over his unscripted warning to North Korea, where he threatened Pyongyang with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
Trump’s fiery comments infuriated North Korea. The country said in response that it would plan a missile attack against the US territory of Guam in the Pacific.
White supremacist violence
Trump’s refusal to draw a clear line between himself and white nationalist groups has been another source of growing tension within the Republican Party.
Nearly a week after an outburst of racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist ran over anti-racism protesters and killed one of them, Trump has been resisted calls to single out the racist groups behind the attack.
Instead, he has blamed both sides for the violence, a decision far-right groups have welcomed.
Senator James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, said Trump needed to unequivocally condemn the white supremacist groups.
“Any time he steps up and tries to equate two groups or two conversations, I think that muddies the water,” the lawmaker said of Trump. “I just think you need to be very, very clear with the statements and how they’re made.”
Trump’s reaction has outraged Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two of his fiercest Republican critics.
Healthcare debacle, Senate races
Trump angered Republican leaders even more by openly supporting conservative candidate Kelli Ward’s election bid against Senator Jeff Flake in Arizona. He has called Flake, another critic of his administration, “toxic.”
Rump’s disregard for Flake has prompted a response from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who says the senator has his “full support.”
McConnell himself has come under immense pressure from Trump for his failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.