The New York Times disproved President Donald Trump's allegation that the newspaper set up Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. An Oct. 10 Times article notes how Corker asked for the interview he gave to be recorded.
In the discussion published on Oct. 8, Corker criticized Trump and suggested his policies were risking a world war, according to The Times.
Trump wrote on Twitter on Oct. 10 that the paper had "set Liddle' Bob Corker up by recording his conversation."
But according to Times reporter Jonathan Martin, Corker, together with his two aides who listened in on the telephone interview, requested the recording be made.
"I know [my aides are] recording it, and I hope you are, too," Corker said at one point, the Times reported.
As well as warning that Trump could trigger "world war III," Corker described the White House as an "adult day care center."
Corker also alleged that other senators feel the same way about Trump, but are choosing not to speak out publicly. However, he also stressed he wants to continue to work for the implementation of the GOP's agenda during his remaining 15 months in office.
"I want to be the same person I've always been on the policy issues," he told The Times. "I want to see good things happen. None of this to me is personal in any way."
This is not the first time Trump and Corker have clashed. The Republican senator attacked Trump over his response to violence by right-wing extremists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, and also defended Secretary of State Rex Tillerson against criticism from the president.
Other GOP politicians worry the ongoing feud is acting as a diversion.
"[Trump] needs to stop," Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa told Politico on Oct. 10. "We’ve got so many other things that we need to be focusing on right now. We need to look ahead, not reflect on anything that’s been done or said in the past.”
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said he did not agree with Corker's description of the White House.
"It's an unfortunate exchange … I would like to see this end," he said. "I would encourage them both to stop what they're doing and get focused on what we need to be doing."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell noted that Corker is a "valuable member" of the GOP caucus when it comes to adopting key policy initiatives, including the party's tax reform plan. Corker has indicated he would vote against a proposal that increases the deficit, and with Republicans having only a 52-48 majority, every vote could prove crucial.