Corker blames style and policy differences for Trump-Tillerson split

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, believes both stylistic differences and policy disagreements led President Trump to part ways with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

"The president fired his secretary of State," Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan noted in an interview with Corker that will air this Sunday. "He's now talking about shaking up more of his Cabinet and his top advisors. Do you think there's an issue with personnel, or is it policy?"

"I think it can be both," Corker replied. "I know with Secretary Tillerson there were differences in policy. But I think it was also a clash of just style and culture."

Behind Rex Tillerson's firing as secretary of state

"You think about the president – he's very entrepreneurial," Corker explained. "He just picks up the phone. And, you know, makes things happen sometimes. And Secretary Tillerson – you know, CEO of Exxon, when they do things… if you're gonna build a production facility in some place, you plan it out. You think it through. And so I think it wasn't just policy, but it was also very much just in how they went about doing their business."

"I think the president became sort of exasperated with just how things were in that regard," Corker continued. "But I personally thought Rex Tillerson gave very, very sound advice, and obviously was very close to him. Talked to him a lot. Talked to the president a lot. Knew that the relationship was not perfect."

Tillerson's departure was announced Tuesday in a tweet from the president. Mr. Trump also announced that he would nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson at the State Department, and he said he would nominate Pompeo's deputy at the CIA, Gina Haspel, to run that agency.

Corker said that he had a "long conversation" with Tillerson after the secretary learned of his dismissal by reading the president's tweet.

"I think he's doing fine," Corker said, arguing that the secretary of state helped lay the groundwork for possible direct talks with North Korea.

"He feels like he's moved things along in a good way," Corker continued. "Wants to have a very good transition with Pompeo. He's a class act in that regard. So I think he's at peace…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 'gee haws' fully with."

For more of Brennan's interview with Corker, tune in this Sunday. Check your local listings for airtimes.