Praising Rex Tillerson as "a class act," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker says the ousted secretary of state is "at peace" with President Donald Trump's decision.
"I think he's doin' fine," Sen. Corker told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "I think he feels he knows he's laid the groundwork for North Korea.
"I know he feels like he's moved things along in a good way — wants to have a very good transition with [Secretary of State nominee Mike] Pompeo. He's a class act in that regard. . . . So, I think he's at peace."
Corker, sometimes a Trump critic himself, said he had a "very long conversation" with Tillerson after the news he was being removed for CIA Director Pompeo, who "he more geehaws fully with."
"I think he feels like he served his country well, and knows that the president needs to have his own secretary of state, or one that he more geehaws fully with," Corker told host Margaret Brennan.
Corker, who once said he would be "embarrassed" if Tillerson left State, said Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis "had an incredible relationship that is most unusual for this city."
"The secretary of state and secretary of defense went in always on the same page in policy issues," Corker told Brennan. "That's been a rare thing. Tillerson spent a lot of time cultivating that.
"So, when I made that comment, it was to say these two guys go in together. They go in locking arms. And they have been, in my opinion, a great team."
Corker, though, understands President Trump's desire to realign his Cabinet with those who follow his administration's agenda.
"When the president called from Air Force One the other day to let me know what was happening with Rex — as I said to him — every Cabinet member serves at his pleasure," Corker told Brennan. "He should have people that he feels he has confidence in."
The issue, Corker said, while President Trump likes a diversity of ideas "once a decision is made . . . he likes to see it move along quickly."
"I've been on the speakerphone during these [foreign policy] debates," Corker told Brennan. "Where the president will call. He'll have his team of people around him in the Oval Office, and we'll be debating an issue, and I do think he likes to hear diverse opinions, but once a decision is made, I think he likes to see it move along quickly.
"And I think that was one of the frustrations he may have had with Secretary Tillerson."
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