Corker: 'I loved' McCain's speech, gave him a 'big hug'

Corker: 'I loved' McCain's speech, gave him a 'big hug'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump’s damage control falters Trump says Russia doesn’t pose threat, contradicting intelligence director Fed Chair Powell's charm offensive touts a booming economy MORE (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday praised the speech Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainEx-Montenegro leader fires back at Trump: ‘Strangest president' in history McCain: Trump plays into 'Putin's hands' by attacking Montenegro, questioning NATO obligations Joe Lieberman urges voters to back Crowley over Ocasio-Cortez in general MORE (R-Ariz.) gave a day earlier, in which the Arizona Republican blasted "half-baked, spurious nationalism."

"The pieces that I saw, I loved, and I gave him a big hug on the [Senate] floor," Corker told reporters when asked about the speech, according to CNN.
 
"It's a great speech," he said.
 
McCain delivered the emotional speech Monday evening after receiving the National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal. During the address, he said that "we live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil" and called Americans "the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad."
 
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“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history,” McCain said.
 
The line about "spurious nationalism" was widely seen as a jab at President Trump, who responded to McCain's comments on Tuesday.

"People have to careful, because at some point I fight back," Trump told WMAL radio host Chris Plante. "I'm being very nice. I'm being very, very nice. But at some point I fight back, and it won't be pretty."

McCain fired back at Trump, saying, "I've faced far greater challenges than this."

McCain was reportedly asked whether he was referring to Trump in his speech, and he denied that he was talking specifically about the president.

"I was referring to the whole atmosphere and environment," McCain said Tuesday, according to CNN. "There are a whole lot of people besides the president who say America First."

Corker has been an outspoken critic of Trump in recent weeks, feuding with the president over Twitter. In an interview earlier this month, Corker compared the White House to an adult day care center and said Trump's actions could put the country on the path to World War III.