Corker: Trump trying to 'publicly castrate' Tillerson

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.) ripped President Trump on Friday over his relationship with Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHouse passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department Biden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet With salami-slicing and swarming tactics, China's aggression continues MORE, denouncing moves by the president to "publicly castrate" his chief diplomat.

In an interview with The Washington Post, the Senate Foreign Relations chairman said Trump’s actions are creating “binary” choices between going to war with countries like North Korea and Iran, or allowing those countries to obtain nuclear weapons.


“You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice,” Corker told the Post. “The tweets — yes, you raise tension in the region [and] it’s very irresponsible. But it’s the first part that I am most exercised about.”

Corker praised Tillerson in the interview, saying the former ExxonMobil CEO is doing “phenomenal” things for the U.S. diplomatic relationship with China. But the Tennessee Republican said Trump’s actions are causing those efforts to “fall apart.”

“When you jack the legs out from under your chief diplomat, you cause all that to fall apart,” Corker told the Post. “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.”

Corker’s comments come after a war of words with Trump in the last week.

Trump took to Twitter last Sunday to attack Corker, accusing him of not having “the guts to run” for reelection and claiming Corker “begged” him for an endorsement.

Corker fired back, calling Trump’s White House “an adult day care center.”

The GOP senator, who announced last month he wouldn’t seek reelection in 2018, later told The New York Times that Trump could put the U.S. “on the path to World War III.”

“He concerns me,” Corker said. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”