Speed Reads


Corker blasts Trump's decision to 'publicly castrate' Tillerson

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) continued his critique of President Trump in a Washington Post interview published Friday evening, this time targeting the president's tweets undermining Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in his diplomatic efforts pertaining to North Korea:

[A]s Corker sees it, the biggest problem is that Trump is neutering his own chief diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and thereby inviting "binary" situations in which the United States will have to choose between war and a North Korea or Iran capable of threatening the United States with nuclear weapons.

"You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice," Corker told me in a phone interview Friday. "The tweets — yes, you raise tension in the region [and] it's very irresponsible. But it's the first part" — the "castration" of Tillerson — "that I am most exercised about." [The Washington Post]

Corker praised Trump during the 2016 election and sought a position within his administration. Since Trump took office, however, he has grown reproachful of the president, calling him childish, incompetent, and dangerous. The castration comments mark the latest escalation in the Trump-Corker war of words since since the president attacked the senator on Twitter last weekend.

Read The Week's Matthew Walther, Pascal-Emmanual Gobry, and Ryan Cooper on the value — or lack thereof — in Corker's latecomer protest.