When Republican Senator Bob Corker told The New York Times on Sunday that he believed Donald Trump may have the United States "on the path to World War III" and claimed that "everyone knows" that Trump "tweets out things that are not true," he was laying the cornerstones to remove Trump from office using the provisions of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, according to one top conservative political commentator who spoke on CNN on Monday.
The 25th Amendment allows Congress to remove a president from office if two-thirds of both the House and Senate agree that he is physically or mentally "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."
By using such words as "reckless" and "chaos" to describe Trump's actions 10 months into his term, 65-year-old Corker — a two-term senator from Tennessee who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — was "planting seeds" for a 25th Amendment case to end Trump's tenure in the Oval Office, according to CNN commentator Michael Smerconish.
Trump has hit back at Corker on his Twitter feed, ridiculing the five-foot-seven-inch Corker as "Liddle Bob" and referring to Corker as a "fool" in a tweet posted to Trump's @RealDonaldTrump account early Tuesday morning.
Smerconish, who is an attorney in addition to his position as a cable news commentator, said Monday that Corker's language used to characterize Trump reveals clues that congressional Republicans may be preparing a 25h Amendment case to dump Trump from the White House.
"The lawyer in me hears something different. I'm thinking of the 25th Amendment, Section 4, which speaks to a president who is unable to discharge the powers of duties of his office," Smerconish said on a CNN broadcast.
"He was questioning the stability of the president. Now he's using the word 'reckless, chaos.' Now he is saying 'he concerns me.' I think he's planting seeds for questioning the fitness, the mental fitness of the president pursuant to the 25th Amendment to continue with his responsibilities."Corker also said in his Times interview that top cabinet officials see their job as consisting of trying to keep a lid on Trump's explosive temperament.
"I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it's a situation of trying to contain him," Corker said — adding, perhaps even more significantly, that many Senate Republicans are also "concerned" about Trump.
"Except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we're dealing with here," Corker said.
"Of course they understand the volatility that we're dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road."Watch Michael Smerconish explain how, in his view, Corker is building a 25th Amendment case for Trump's ouster, in the video below.
Corker recently announced that he would not seek a third term in the Senate when his current term runs out in 2018.
While most Republicans have remained publicly silent about Corker's alarming characterizations of Trump, another retiring Republican, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, echoed Corker's concerns about Trump's mental stability and as a result, fitness for the country's top job.
"I think more of my colleagues should speak out," Dent said on Monday. "They say things privately they don't say publicly." Calling many of Trump's public remarks "disquieting to say the least," Dent said that he is "glad" Corker had brought the issue of Trump's mental stability into the public conversation.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]