Green: You talk about the rally in Charlottesville as a defining moment. What were you thinking as you were watching that on television and the press conference that happened afterwards?
Corker: I took a few days to take in everything that happened. I think the rally was on a Saturday. Tuesday at Trump Tower, the president made the comments that he made. I knew I was going to be here in Chattanooga on Thursday, in my hometown.
I got a call early one morning from someone at the White House. I was a recipient of calls from a number of people—almost like they were standing in a coat closet in the White House: “Corker. You cannot believe what has happened.” I received a call from someone well known, probably about 6 a.m. Everybody knows I get up early.
I knew what I was going to do. I thought through the words I was going to use very carefully. I used the words not yet: “The president has not yet demonstrated …” That gives this person the ability to become something different than they were at that time.