Rex Tillerson On A GOP Senator’s Assertions That He’s Been ‘Castrated’ By Trump: ‘I’m Fully Intact’

Rex Tillerson visited with Jake Tapper on State of the Union to discuss serious developments involving Iran (which Trump has infuriated after refusing to recertify the country’s nuclear deal) and North Korea. Tillerson, of course, favors diplomacy above incendiary rhetoric from the president, who tweeted that Tillerson was “wasting his time” with North Korea. Here, the secretary of state told Tapper that he still favors civilized discussions, and “diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.” Yet Tapper couldn’t resist asking about GOP Senator Bob Corker’s assertions that Trump has “castrated” his cabinet member by undermining Tillerson’s publicly declared stances.

Trump tends to go rogue on foreign policy matters, and Corker — head of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee — says his Republican colleagues have noticed. Regarding his manhood, Tillerson dryly answered, “I checked. I’m fully intact.” He also launched into a defense of Trump’s wacky ways:

“I think this is an unconventional president. He uses unconventional communication tools. He uses unconventional techniques to motivate change. And for people who have been around Washington for a long time … this is not a place that likes to change, who actually likes the status quo. The last thing anyone likes to do in this town is make a decision because when you make a decision, you’re suddenly accountable for that decision.”

Tillerson then reasoned that Trump’s action on the Iran deal was to “motivate” change from Congress, and he figures that Trump’s congressional critics simply feel “nervous” at now having to address the issue themselves. This, of course, does nothing to address Corker’s recent claims that Trump could put the U.S. “on the path to World War III.” By the way, here’s what Corker said about Tillerson’s figurative castration, via the Washington Post:

“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.”

On a not-unrelated note, Tillerson also tried to shut down “Morongate” (i.e., those persistent reports that he called Trump a “moron” over nukes). Again, Tillerson didn’t exactly deny the rumors but simply said, “I’m not gonna deal with that kind of petty stuff.” Yup, the issue’s still not settled.

(Via CNN & Washington Post)