U.S. Senator Bob Corker said he made himself 'very clear' when being asked about earlier critical statements of President Donald Trump.
The Republican senator was in Nashville on Friday to attend the 7th Annual Heroes Breakfast through Operation Stand Down Tennessee.
One day earlier, he said in a press conference that President Trump has "not been able to demonstrate the stability nor the competence" to be successful. He added that he has not demonstrated that he understands the character of the nation.
"It was just evident that he is not yet fully embraced what it is, what made our nation great," Senator Corker said to a group of reporters. "There are so many things that he has done that I agree with, but we are at a point in our nation where bringing out the best in people and bringing out the best in our country is where we need to be, not seeking to further divide our nation."
The remarks came after the president's seemingly shaky stance on the violent clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlotesville, Virginia.
"He hasn't been able to step up and speak to the issues in an appropriate way."
Despite the criticism, Senator Corker has hoped his words will help push change.
"The things that I say, I say hopefully to influence him and to influence the people around him," he said.
Vanderbilt University Political Science Professor Thomas Schwartz told NewsChannel 5 Corker's remarks were significant not only because he's the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but because he's running for re-election.
"Even though Republicans in the state generally are supportive of Trump, he's breaking with what has been the tendency of Republicans not to criticize the president for fear it will damage their ability to re-elected," Schwartz emphasized.
During the press conference in Nashville, Corker said he has not spoken to the president since last week, but Corker's certain he's aware of what was said.