Corker won't rule out Trump VP spot, tells critics to 'chill'

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans cannot let Trump's 'reckless' post-election claims stand Cornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' MORE (R-Tenn.) declined to rule out joining Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE’s presidential ticket on Tuesday and told the presumptive GOP nominee’s many Republican critics to “chill.”

“To talk about something based on conjecture — I just have no reason to believe I’m being considered for that,” Corker told reporters on Tuesday.


In response to repeated questions, Corker declined to say he would be uninterested in the role of Trump's running mate, which other prominent Republicans — including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — have done.

Instead, Corker, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tried to reassure reporters about some of the more extreme parts of Trump’s “America First” foreign policy vision.

Trump’s platform has been widely criticized for suggesting that more countries around the world should obtain nuclear weapons, questioning the U.S.’s role in organizations such as NATO and calling for the use of torture "much worse" than waterboarding.

“What I sense is happening is now the campaign is going into a second phase where they’re spending a great deal of time talking more deeply about policy prescriptions and working on platforms and all of that,” he told reporters. “My sense is when people are out there saying ‘Never this’ or ‘Never that,’ a better place to be is to chill and let the campaign evolve a little bit and see where the candidate ends up.”

The comments appeared to be directly targeted at the broad group of Never Trump Republicans promising not to vote for the billionaire real estate mogul.

On Tuesday, Trump appeared to hit back at Rubio and Haley.

“It is only the people that were never asked to be VP that tell the press that they will not take the position,” he said on Twitter.

Corker, while declining to offer a full-throated endorsement of Trump, has been notably warm about his willingness to support the presumptive GOP nominee.

Corker has had “several conversations” with Trump campaign convention manager Paul Manafort, he said on Tuesday, but those talks were limited to foreign policy.