Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennesse, told The Washington Post in an interview posted Friday that President Donald Trump's public statements on foreign policy "castrate" his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson -- creating "binary" scenarios for the United States on the world stage.
"You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice," Corker told The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl in a phone interview on Friday. "The tweets -- yes, you raise tension in the region (and) it's very irresponsible."
Corker added that the Trump administration has made some progress on North Korea especially when it comes to working with China, which he credited to Tillerson's diplomatic efforts.
"The greatest diplomatic activities we have are with China, and the most important, and they have come a long, long way," Corker said, according to the Post. "Some of the things we are talking about are phenomenal."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Corker, who has announced he is not going to seek re-election after 2018, and Trump have publicly quarreled recently on social media.
"The Failing @nytimes set Liddle' Bob Corker up by recording his conversation," Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "Was made to sound a fool, and that's what I am dealing with!"
A transcript of the conversation, however, shows that the newspaper did not set Corker up and that the senator was well aware that he was on the record.
But the latest comments from the Tennessee Republican to the Post come as tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to rise over Pyongyang's nuclear program, and on the same day the President announced he would potentially remove the United States from the Iran nuclear deal if Congress and US allies don't attempt to strengthen areas of the deal he sees as weak.
He has also previously defended Tillerson and cited the top US diplomat as one of the people who "help separate our country from chaos."
"I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary (James) Mattis, and Chief of Staff (John) Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos, and I support them very much," the Republican chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee told reporters last week.