Corker dodges on Trump primary question

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe Memo: Romney moves stir worries in Trump World Senate GOP names first female members to Judiciary panel Former US special envoy to anti-ISIS coalition joins Stanford University as lecturer MORE (R-Tenn.) on Sunday was noncommittal when asked whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE should face a primary challenge in 2020, or whether the country would be better off with a Democratic president than a second term for Trump.

"I do think that we've got to remember what the Republican Party is," Corker told MSNBC's Kasie Hunt when asked whether Trump should face a GOP challenger in the next election.

"I want to get away from here and think about that," he added. "What is happening right now is not the standard Republicanism that we've had in our country for many, many years and it's very different."

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Corker also said he's not focused at this point on a possible presidential run.

"I think it's important to remind people that we're going through an anomaly right now as it relates to much of the standard Republican focus that's been around for a long time," he added.

The senator, who is retiring after opting not to run for reelection, noted that he supports certain aspects of Trump's presidency, such as the confirmation of conservative judges and the state of the economy.

Asked if the country would be better off with a Democrat winning the 2020 election, Corker did not explicitly rule it out, but expressed uncertainty that the party could elect a centrist. 

"I don’t want to speak to that yet,” he said. “Let’s see what happens a year from now.”

Corker has been one of the most outspoken GOP critics of the president, likening the White House at one point to an "adult day care center" and saying Trump has "debased" the nation.

Trump branded the senator, who is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, as "liddle' Bob Corker" in response.

Some Trump critics in the GOP, including outgoing Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least MORE (Ariz.), have said they believe Trump should face a primary challenge in 2020.