Watch Pro-Trump Senator Stunned Speechless by Trump's Unhinged Tweets

Watch Pro-Trump Senator Stunned Speechless by Trump’s Unhinged Tweets

Secretary of State Short-Lister Can’t Believe Trump’s Foreign Policy Tweets

Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee is that rare bird who is both a ‘serious’ Republican with major foreign policy chops, and a supporter of Donald Trump. He is the chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In December, he was under consideration for Secretary of State, and a lot of his Congressional colleagues were rooting for him. Corker criticized how Trump “implemented” the Muslim ban that has been repeatedly shot down in court. Nonetheless, Trump was seen golfing with Corker on Sunday. And on Tuesday, a series of tweets written by the president left Corker speechless.

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Donald’s flabbergasting tweet storm went like this:

This is the very definition of a bull in a China shop. By taking a “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” approach to fully adopting Saudi Arabia’s point of view on Qatar, Trump managed to pinpoint one of the thorniest issues in the Persian Gulf and maul it. Saudi Arabia and its cohort of allies and satraps announced a rapidly unfolding air, land and sea embargo of Qatar, apparently following an ultimatum that it stop supporting Iranian proxy, Hamas.

A lot of delicate diplomacy has prevented something like this from happening in the recent past, even though it’s been a live possibility since the Iraq war. Qatar is a teeny, tiny country with a ludicrous amount of oil wealth that juts out into the Persian Gulf, in between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is the only Arab country that is doing its damnedest to balance good relations with both Saudi Arabia and Iran, because it doesn’t have much of a choice if it wants to retain its sovereignty.

The move reeks of a power grab by Saudi Arabia, and a dangerous provocation toward Iran. Rather than balancing competing interests in the region and using the bully pulpit to restrain difficult allies, the president is basically saying that whatever Saudi King Salman says is what Trump thinks.

Regardless of the machinations of Arab kingdoms, though, there’s a piece of this story that is extremely important: Qatar is a key US ally, and it is the host country of the largest US Air Force base in the Middle East. Most of the bombing sorties against ISIS are flown out of al-Udeid airbase in Qatar. So, Trump is giving the thumbs up to a blockade of a country that houses 11,000 US service members.

THAT IS INSANE!

That, I imagine, is what was running through Corker’s mind when journalists stopped him in the hallway and asked him to comment on Trump’s tweets. He reportedly had not seen them yet. AFP’s Washington correspondent Dave Clark described the scene,

Freelance journalist Matt Laslo described Corker’s response as “about 8 seconds of stunned silence,”

Huffington Post politics reporter Jennifer Bendery posted this clip of a journalist showing Corker the tweets. In the video, Corker is seen shaking his head as he reads them.

Former George W. Bush speech writer and relentless critic of Trump, David Frum, had a theory about Donald’s move.

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Given the amount of money that the Saudis’ lobbyists have spent at Trump International Hotel in DC since last fall, it’s certainly possible that this is a piece of the puzzle. If true, it suggests that the president is mortgaging America’s security architecture in the world, gambling with an American airbase, for narrow personal gain.

No wonder Corker was as quiet as a man watching the president putt.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Marc Belisle is the Reverb Press World Affairs Editor. He is a writer, activist and teacher. He has a Master's degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies. READ MORE BY MARC.