Corker dodges on Trump primary question

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.) on Sunday was noncommittal when asked whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat 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 FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  MORE (Ariz.), have said they believe Trump should face a primary challenge in 2020.