Corker expresses surprise at Tillerson firing

Friday, March 9, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 10

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, says President Donald Trump's decision to fire his chief diplomat caught him by surprise.

Corker, who has been Tillerson's most vocal supporter on Capitol Hill, acknowledged "there's been tensions" between Tillerson and Trump.

But he says, it had seemed "that they had learned to work together a little bit better." Corker said he didn't know what precipitated the firing.

Trump announced Tuesday he is replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Corker says he doesn't know a great deal about Pompeo.

In early October, Corker had said that Tillerson, along with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, are "those people that help separate our country from chaos."

On Tuesday, Corker said, "I have a lot of faith in Tillerson's judgment. I've shared that with the president many times."