President Donald Trump’s team has reportedly been considering a few other candidates to lead the Department of Homeland Security, but one name that has become a hot topic is that of Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who is rumored to be interested in the post.
Corker, who was considered a top contender for the position when he was nominated by Trump in February, has been pushing for Trump to appoint a new secretary of defense, and the White House has also been exploring other candidates for the job.
Corker, who is up for reelection next year, has previously said he believes Trump is “undermining” the department.
“We are not in a position where we can afford to be in the position where the Secretary of Defense and other positions that the president appoints and directs to be at the top of his agenda are going to be people who are not going to have any oversight of the departments that they appoint,” Corker said at the time.
Citing reports that Trump is considering Corker, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a potential nominee, Rep. Peter King, R,N.Y., a leading member of Trump’s Congressional Foreign Relations Caucus, tweeted on Monday, “If confirmed as Secretary of Homeland, Corker will make a perfect choice for President Trump’s Department of Defense.
Trump should nominate someone with strong foreign policy experience, and I’m sure Bob Corker would be a great fit.”
Corkers office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sen. John McCain, R–Ariz., said on NBC’s Meet the Press that he thought Corker was “absolutely” a candidate.
“I do think that he has a real interest in that position,” McCain said.
“And I think he’s a guy that has some ideas about how to improve the quality of our homeland security and how to get us on a path to a stronger and more effective homeland security.”
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said in a statement on Monday that he would “fully support the Secretary’s confirmation to lead DHS.”
Senators Susan Collins, R‐Maine, and Mark Warner, D‐Va., also voiced their support for Corker.
Senators John McCain and Rand Paul, R –Ky., have been vocal in their support of Corker.
McCain said in February that Corker was a “great” choice for the role of secretary of homeland security, while Paul said that he had spoken with Corker about the position.
Sen.(R‐Ky.), who has been one of Trump ‘s most vocal critics, also supported Corker’s nomination.
“He’s someone who I think has a great interest in the Department and the country,” Sen. John Barrasso, R , Wyo., said, according to The Hill.
“He has a very strong foreign-policy background.”
A former secretary of the Army, Corker was an early supporter of Trump during the 2016 campaign and served as a senior adviser during the transition to the presidency.
He has previously called for Trump’s impeachment and suggested the president was “being blackmailed” by Democrats over the Iran nuclear deal.
Sen.-elect Joe Manchin, D –W.
Va., said Corker’s potential nomination would be an “unmitigated disaster.”
“He has been a constant, persistent critic of the president, of his policies, of how the administration is handling some of the issues,” Manchin said in January.
“I don’t know if it’s fair to expect someone like that to be able to be the secretary of Homeland and be a true advocate for our nation.”
The Hill has reached out to the White White House for comment and will update this post if we hear back.