Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her MORE (R-Tenn.) clashed with a prominent biology professor over President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE while hiking in his home state, according to a new report.
Corker argued with David Haskell, a professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., over Trump’s past remarks regarding women, The Knoxville News-Sentinel said Monday.
Haskell told the local paper he instantly recognized Corker when they encountered each other late Sunday on Stringer’s Ridge near Chattanooga, Tenn.
“I told him how deeply ashamed I was to be in a state where our senator does not denounce Trump for boasting of sexual assault,” he said, referencing a controversial 2005 audio recording of Trump discussing groping women’s genitalia without consent.
“Corker has been silent on this,” added Haskell, a 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his book “The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature.”
“I said I thought his silence was shameful and that I was very angry and disappointed to be represented by a senator who would not stand up to his vile and odious speech.”
Corker’s office on Monday confirmed the confrontation occurred, but said Haskell instigated the incident by fiercely interrogating the senator.
“While hiking alone yesterday afternoon on Stringer’s Ridge, Senator Corker was approached by Professor Haskell, who was hiking with three other individuals,” spokesman Micah Johnson said.
“Professor Haskell began shouting at Senator Corker in a profanity-laced tirade while pointing a finger in his face and told the senator that he was embarrassed to live in a state where the citizens voted to overwhelmingly elect Donald Trump,” he added.
“Senator Corker calmly suggested to the professor that he did not have to live in Tennessee if he did not wish to do so. Senator Corker believes that if the leadership of Sewanee witnessed the exchange, they would be sorely disappointed in the behavior of someone tasked with leading students.”
All three of Haskell’s companions told the New-Sentinel they were offended by Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“It was so elitist, as if it were a powerful person talking down to someone who disagreed with him and he could say whatever he wanted,” said Katherine Lehman, a former music professor at University of the South. "He just had a smirk on his face."