A photo of Republican Senator Bob Corker taken during a trip to Moldova in April 2014.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy Moldova via Flickr Creative Commons.

Earlier this month, Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told CNN that he was contemplating whether or not to run for office again. Today, Corker officially announced his decision: he will not be seeking re-election in 2018.

“After much thought, consideration, and family discussion over the past year, Elizabeth and I have decided that I will leave the United States Senate when my term expires at the end of 2018,” the 65-year-old politician said in a released statement.

The news of Senator Corker’s departure has caused many to speculate that his decision is in part due to his disagreements with President Donald Trump. Corker, who also serves as the chairman for the Senate’s foreign relations committee, has been critical of Trump in the past.

Last month, Corker publicly chastised Trump for his handling of the violent white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville, VA.

“The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,” Corker said in a video obtained by local news website Nooga.com.

Trump responded to Corker’s condemnation with his own incendiary remarks, tweeting:

A tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump that reads, "Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in '18. Tennessee not happy!"

When White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about Corker’s scathing comments, she downplayed the significance of his sentiments entirely.

“That’s a ridiculous and outrageous claim and doesn’t dignify a response from this podium,” Huckabee Sanders said at a White House briefing.

In his statement released today, Corker said that the “most important public service” he had to offer would arrive in the coming months.

“Serving the people of Tennessee in this capacity has been the greatest privilege of my life,” said Corker. “And as I spent the month of August traveling across our great state, I was reminded that we live in a unique place full of people who care deeply about the direction of our country.”