Corker: retirement isn't about frustration with Senate

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRepublicans, ideology, and demise of the state and local tax deduction Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force MORE (R-Tenn.) insisted on Wednesday he is not retiring from the Senate out of frustration with the stalled Republican agenda on the Affordable Care Act repeal and other issues, saying he views his job in the upper chamber as a "tremendous privilege."

"I am in no way frustrated. Yes, I'd love to get something done on tax reform. I wish we had repealed ACA, but I'm able to make so much happen just on the telephone that I'm not frustrated, I'm not weary, I look at what I do as a tremendous privilege," Corker told Fox News host Shannon Bream. 

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"When I ran, I told people I couldn't imagine serving more than two terms. I came up here as a citizen legislator. It has been very tempting to stay, I'll be honest," he continued. 

Corker, who serves as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, was elected to the Senate in 2006. 

His comments come a day after he announced he would be retiring from his post. Before he announced his retirement, Corker was seen as a potential target for Trump loyalists looking to launch a primary challenge against GOP incumbents critical of the president.

Corker's decision came after Senate Republicans announced they would not vote on their latest effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. 

Corker's retirement announcement elicited praise from both parties. 

“His leadership on important issues has helped guide our Conference and had a real impact at home and abroad,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 WATCH: The Hill recaps the top stories of the week Effort to overhaul archaic election law wins new momentum MORE (R-Ky.) said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerCIA says 'Havana syndrome' unlikely a result of 'worldwide campaign' by foreign power Schumer opted for modest rules reform after pushback from moderates Biden moves to boost security of sensitive national security systems MORE (D-Va.) used Corker's retirement to criticize the Senate's partisan mood, saying "I also hope this is a wake-up call to all of us in the Senate that we need to recommit ourselves to creating an environment where reasonable, thoughtful people of both parties can come together to solve problems."