Corker reconsiders retirement, but he must win over Trump to do it

Instead, in a telephone conversation last week, Mr. Trump offered encouragement to Representative Marsha Blackburn, a conservative lawmaker and White House ally who has emerged as the favorite to win the Republican nomination for Mr. Corker’s seat, according to three Republicans familiar with the call.

Mr. Trump’s West Wing advisers, their memories still fresh from Mr. Corker’s jibes, are urging the president to resist entreaties from the senator and a handful of his colleagues who worry that the seat could slip from Republican hands in November. They are showing Mr. Trump polling that indicates how steep of a climb Mr. Corker would face in a primary campaign…

More broadly, Mr. Corker’s advisers say he and Mr. Trump have patched up their relationship and the senator is simply hearing out those who would like him to remain in the Senate, a decision he technically does not have to make until Tennessee’s filing deadline in early April.

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