A Republican senator has accused Donald Trump of “publicly castrating” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with his tweets about North Korea.
Republican Bob Corker, who previously called Trump’s volatile White House an “adult day care centre” and warned the president could start World War Three, said Trump’s tweets dismissing Tillerson’s negotiation efforts were narrowing America’s options on dealing with countries like Iran and North Korea.
Trump, who was condemned worldwide for refusing to certify the nuclear deal with the “fanatical regime” in Iran on Friday, tweeted two weeks ago to say Tillerson was “wasting his time” by trying to negotiate with North Korea and told him to “save your energy”.
The tweet came the day after Tillerson had told a news conference in Beijing that America was directly communicating with North Korea on its nuclear and missile programme but it had shown no interest in dialogue.
“You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state,” Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The Washington Post.
He added that Trump’s undermining Tillerson and diplomatic channels pushed America towards a “binary” choice of either going to war with countries like North Korea or leaving them to develop nuclear weapons.
Corker said: “When you jack the legs out from under your chief diplomat, you cause all that to fall apart... 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 has already been a target of Trump’s Twitter tirades. Trump has claimed Corker wanted to be his Secretary of State and said he was responsible for the “horrendous” Iran deal.
Tillerson is among the most senior officials in Trump’s Cabinet and White House who remains in his job, after a series of high profile resignations and firings.
According to Buzzfeed, he agreed to a three-way “suicide pact” with Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin to all resign together if Trump tries to remove any of them.
Tillerson is also reported to have called Trump a “moron” and even had to call a press conference to quash rumours he was about to resign.