When asked Wednesday about allegations of bad blood between President Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Republican Sen. Bob Corker defended Rex Tillerson while hinting that the problem may lie with the president.
“I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and chief of staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos,” Corker said, referring to Defence Secretary James Mattis and White House chief of staff John Kelly, who are both retired generals.
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.”
The senator, who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated that the three members of the administration are “valuable to the national security of this nation.”
Corker did not name the specific people he felt were undermining Tillerson or American foreign policy, and said he was unable to corroborate reports that Tillerson was considering resigning as secretary of state over the summer.
When asked whether he was referring to the president when he mentioned “chaos,” Corker demurred.
“It’s just they act in a very, they work very well together to make sure that the policies that we put forth around the world that are sound and coherent,” Corker said. “There are other people within the administration, in my belief, that don’t.”
Corker announced last month that he would retire from the Senate after 2018.
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