WASHINGTON — Tennessee’s Sen. Bob Corker turned down an offer from President Donald Trump to become the administration’s ambassador to Australia, a spokeswoman told CNN on Monday.
Corker, a Republican, was offered the job as the top diplomat to one of the United States’ main allies in the Southern Hemisphere, but he doesn’t want to leave his post in the Senate just yet. Corker has announced he’s retiring at the end of his term.
Corker first revealed the job offer in an interview with The Tennessean.
In the interview with the paper, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he had multiple conversations with Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the job. Ultimately, he decided “it wasn’t the right step,” he told the paper.
The White House first approached Corker about the job three weeks ago and he told them last week that he wouldn’t be going to Australia, according to The Tennessean. The junior senator from Tennessee has never been to Australia but was honored to have been offered the job, the paper reported.
Corker and Trump have been known to feud, with the two engaging in a red-hot Twitter spat in the autumn months of 2017. The relationship was reportedly patched up during the ensuing months, but Corker has never been shy about criticizing the Trump administration.
Corker was once considered a top candidate for secretary of state in the Trump administration and, despite that rocky personal history with Trump, he won’t say no to potentially working in the administration further down the line.
“I would certainly look at it,” he told the paper.