The Slatest

Corker Blasts Trump Again: “You Cannot Publicly Castrate Your Own Secretary of State”

Sen. Bob Corker talks to reporters as he heads to the U.S. Capitol for a vote July 31, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republican Sen. Bob Corker has shown no signs of easing up on President Trump after he called the White House an “adult day care center” and warned the commander in chief could start World War III. Corker has added that one of his biggest concerns is the president’s treatment of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, which he says could lead to “binary” situations in which the United States will have to choose between war or letting countries like North Korea or Iran develop nuclear weapons.

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“You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice,” Corker told the Washington Post on Friday. Although the president’s tweets “raise tension in the region” and are “irresponsible,” Corker is most concerned about what he characterized as the “castration” of Tillerson. Even though many have criticized Tillerson, at the very least Corker says he has been instrumental in opening up diplomatic channels with China. Yet when Trump publicly says the man in charge of representing his administration abroad “is wasting his time” on diplomacy everyone starts to doubt him.

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“When you jack the legs out from under your chief diplomat, you cause all that to fall apart,” Corker said. “Us working with [Beijing] effectively is the key to not getting to a binary choice. When you publicly castrate your secretary of state, you take that off the table.” The senator has continually praised several members of Trump’s administration as he has admonished the president personally. Several top officials, including Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and chief of staff John Kelly are helping “separate our country from chaos,” Corker said earlier this month.

Corker, who is the head of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, told reporters on Friday he would introduce legislation to fix “major flaws” in the Iran deal that he said would ultimately strengthen the agreement.

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