Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker does not regret his war of words with President Donald Trump, several weeks after the two began feuding.
"The best thing that we can do is when the president is right, support the things that he’s doing," Corker said. "When he’s wrong or trying to divide, take that on."
Speaking to reporters after the Governor's Conference on Economic and Community Development in Gatlinburg on Friday, Corker also said that Trump's rhetoric and tweets regarding the escalating tensions with North Korea have hindered the country's efforts to pursue diplomacy.
"I don’t worry about it, I know that it does," Corker said. "It’s not a thing, that you worry about. I can tell you that factually it harms our ability."
Even with the ongoing feud with the President, Corker, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says that he works closely with and confides in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
Trump has told Tillerson not to waste his time pursuing diplomatic solutions with North Korea. Corker believes diplomacy is the best option, and that Trump's words hurt Tillerson's efforts.
"Each time that he (Tillerson) gets to a place, the White House has a tendency to kneecap him, to say that we’re not interested in diplomacy, we’ll take care of it," Corker said. "It is unsettling to the people he is negotiating with."
A day after Trump declared the opioid epidemic a nationwide public health emergency, Gov. Bill Haslam applauded the president's efforts to combat the issue that has already taken 224 lives in Knox County this year.
"Any time the leader of our country points to something and says this is a big problem and this is something we need to focus on, it helps," Haslam said. "It is a big problem, in Tennessee, unfortunately, it’s something that we’re leading on that we don’t want to be leading on."
Increased funding has already been put to use to open new treatment clinics and decrease wait times for treatment. Still, Haslam says there are changes that need to be made.
"I’m hoping that there will be some more flexibility with some of the federal funding back to states that comes now that we can use this to address it," Haslam said. "That would help us immensely. There’s a lot of federal funds that come, but they don’t give the states as much ability as we would like for where that should be applied."
Haslam also said he will work to get more funding for opioid treatment and drug abuse prevention in next year’s state budget.