The divisive U.S. political scene was again on display Sunday.
President Donald Trump exchanged barbed tweets with Tennessee Senator Bob Corker of his own party, while Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a professional football game after some players protested against racism by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.
Trump wrote that he had refused to endorse Corker for a re-election race which led the senator to drop out, saying Corker had “begged” for the endorsement.
“He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!” Trump wrote. “Hence, I would fully expect Corker to be a negative voice and stand in the way of our great agenda. Didn’t have the guts to run!”
Corker shot back on Twitter minutes later.
“It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center,” he wrote. “Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was a prominent supporter of Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, but has become increasingly critical of his fellow Republican since his time in the White House.
The New York Times quoted Corker in a story published late Sunday saying the senator sees Trump as treating his position like a reality television show with threats toward other countries that could put the United States “on the path to World War Three.”
“I don’t think he appreciates that when the president of the United States speaks and says the things that he does, the impact that it has around the world, especially in the region that he’s addressing,” Corker said.
The Times said that during a 25-minute interview Corker said he spoke with Trump at least four times this year, with Trump encouraging him to run for re-election.
“I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true,” Corker said.
Meanwhile, Pence quickly walked out of a game between his home-state Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after about a dozen San Francisco players took a knee during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
It was one of numerous demonstrations pro players have carried out before recent games to protest what they see as disparate treatment by law enforcement agencies of blacks and other minorities in the U.S. compared to that of whites.
Pence said on Twitter: “I left today’s Colts game because (Trump) and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag, or our national anthem.”
Trump indicated in his own tweet that Pence’s action was pre-planned.
“I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen,” Trump wrote.