Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said Friday that his
biggest worry is that President Donald Trump is rendering
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ineffective at his job.
Corker, who has been a vocal critic of Trump since announcing in
September that he would retire before the 2018
election, told The Washington
Post that although he worries about the possibility that
Trump will provoke a nuclear war
with North Korea and further stoke the conflict with Iran,
his biggest worry centers on Trump’s relationship with
“You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without
giving yourself that binary choice,” Corker told The Post.
The choice he was referring to, according to The Post, was
deciding between conflict with North Korea or allowing Iran
to develop nuclear weapons by pulling out of the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the
Iran nuclear deal.
criticized Trump earlier this month after Trump tweeted
that Tillerson was wasting his time
trying to open up diplomatic
channels with North Korea, which has grown increasingly
provocative in recent months.
“I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and Chief of Staff
Kelly are those people that help separate our country from
told reporters at the time when asked about allegations of
bad blood between Trump and Tillerson.
Corker added that Tillerson is “in an incredibly frustrating
place” where he “ends up not being supported in the way that I
hope a secretary of state would be supported.”
He doubled down on his support for the secretary of state Friday,
saying that while he was concerned about Trump’s “very
irresponsible” Twitter habits, “it’s the first part” — the
“castration” of Tillerson — “that I am most exercised about.”