President Trump escalated his attack on Senator Bob Corker on Tuesday by ridiculing him for his height, even as advisers worried that the president was further fracturing his relationship with congressional Republicans just a week before a vote critical to his tax cutting plan.
Mr. Trump gave Mr. Corker, a two-term Republican from Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a derogatory new nickname — “Liddle Bob” — after the two exchanged barbs in recent days. He suggested Mr. Corker was somehow tricked when he told a reporter from The New York Times that the president was reckless and could stumble into a nuclear war.
In labeling Mr. Corker “liddle,” the president was evidently returning to a theme. He considered Mr. Corker for secretary of state during the transition after last year’s election but was reported to have told associates that Mr. Corker, at 5-foot-7, was too short to be the nation’s top diplomat. Instead, Mr. Trump picked Rex W. Tillerson, who is several inches taller but whose own relationship with the president has deteriorated to the point that he was said to have called Mr. Trump a “moron.”