Trump calls 'Liddle' Bob Corker a 'fool' over NYT interview

Dusting off an old nickname, President Trump blasted “Liddle Bob Corker” on Tuesday and said the Republican senator sounded like “a fool” in his latest New York Times interview -- escalating one of the nastiest feuds the president has had with a sitting GOP lawmaker.

“The Failing @nytimes set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool and that’s what I am dealing with!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

The tweet on Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was the latest jab in a war of words that's been building since the weekend.

In his interview with the New York Times on Sunday, Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the president has treated his office like “a reality show,” and is leading the U.S. down “the path to World War III.”

“He concerns me,” Corker said. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”

Trump and his allies have not backed down, with the president now giving Corker the same nickname treatment he gave 2016 GOP presidential primary rival Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. -- whom he tagged "Liddle Marco."

Trump spelled out Rubio’s nickname to The New York Times last year, in the same way.

“L-I-D-D-L-E. Liddle, Liddle, Liddle Marco,” he said.

As for Trump's claim that the Times set up Corker by recording him, New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin said both sides were actually recording.

“Corker has 2 aides on line, also recording, and they made sure after it ended that I was taping, too,” Martin tweeted Tuesday.

Corker announced last month that he would not seek reelection in 2018 when his term ends.

The president over the weekend then claimed Corker had “begged” him for an endorsement, suggesting that's why he announced his retirement.

“Senator Bob Corker ‘begged’ me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said “NO” and he dropped out (said he could not win without my endorsement.)” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. “He also wanted to be Secretary of States, I said ‘NO THANKS.’ He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!”

Corker, who isn’t as vocal on the social media platform as the president, fired back Sunday morning.

“It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning,” Corker tweeted.