An area professor criticized Sen. Bob Corker after an interaction regarding President-elect Donald Trump, and the former Chattanooga mayor’s spokeswoman has responded to the allegations.
The two sides have different perspectives of the story.
University of the SouthProfessor David George Haskell wrote in his blogthat he ran into Corker while hiking over the weekend and told him how “deeply ashamed” he is to be from a state where the senator would “not denounce Trump for boasting of sexual assault.”
In October, before winning the election against Hillary Clinton, a tape surfaced in which Trump bragged about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women. A hot mic caught the 2005 conversation.
Haskell said that Corker responded to him by saying, “If you don’t like it, then you should leave the state.”
He also accused Corker of saying that it was people like him who are dividing the country by not accepting election results and asked, “What have you ever done to contribute to this state?”
But, according to Corker’s communications director Micah Johnson, Haskell’s behavior was inappropriate.
She said via email:
While hiking alone yesterday afternoon on Stringer’s Ridge, Sen. Corker was aggressively approached by Professor Haskell, who was hiking with three other individuals. Professor Haskell began shouting at Sen. Corker in a profanity-laced tirade while pointing a finger in his face and told the senator that he was embarrassed to live in a state where the citizens voted to overwhelmingly elect Donald Trump. Sen. Corker calmly suggested to the professor that he did not have to live in Tennessee if he did not wish to do so. Sen. Corker believes that if the leadership of Sewanee witnessed the exchange, they would be sorely disappointed in the behavior of someone tasked with leading students.
Haskell’s post circulated on social media Monday, and the Nashville Scene also picked it up.
In October, Corkercommented about the Trump tape, saying, “These comments are obviously very inappropriate and offensive, and his apology was absolutely necessary.”
Corker’s name has been floated as a potential secretary of state or secretary of the treasury in Trump’s administration.