In what many are interpreting to be a sharp criticism of President Trump, Tennessee GOP Senator Bob Corker suggested to reporters that Gens. James Mattis and John Kelly, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are the only ones helping to “separate our country from chaos” in the era of Trump.
When asked by a reporter if he was directly referring to Trump, Corker wasn’t specific but seemed to allude to Trump again.
“[Mattis, Kelly and Tillerson] work very well together to make sure the policies we put forth around the world are sound and coherent,” Corker said. “There are other people within the administration that don’t. I hope they stay because they’re valuable to the national security of our nation.”
The implication seems pretty clear, especially to CNN’s Chris Cillizza:
Stop for a second and re-read that last paragraph. The sitting Republican chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee is suggesting that if Tillerson was removed from office (or quit), the national security of the country would potentially be in danger. And he’s refusing to knock down — and thereby affirming — the idea that Trump is an agent of chaos who pushes policies that are not always “sound” or “coherent.”
That. Is. Stunning.
Corker also seemingly slammed Trump for undermining Tillerson, saying that the Secretary of State is in a “very frustrating place.”
“He ends up not being supported in the way I would hope a secretary of state would be supported,” Corker said, later adding that Tillerson is “in a very trying situation — trying to solve many of the world’s problems without the support and help I’d like to see him have.”
The comments come after reports of rising tensions between Tillerson and Trump. This Wednesday, NBC News published a report citing inside sources who allege that during a July meeting with cabinet members and national security team members, Tillerson trashed Trump, calling him a “moron.” In addition, the report also alleges that Tillerson had to be talked out of resigning from his position out of frustration last summer.
Corker has been critical of Trump before. In August, Corker made headlines when he suggested that Trump “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 4, 2017
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