Corker turns down Trump offer to become U.S. ambassador to Australia

President Donald Trump offered Sen. Bob Corker, currently chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to position of U.S. ambassador to Australia, but the retiring Tennessee Republican lawmaker said no. His decision has made headlines internationally.

“At the end of the day, I just felt like it wasn’t the right fit and I still had work to do in the Senate,” Corker told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The United States has not had an ambassador to Australia, a key U.S. ally in the Pacific, since September 2016. The country is an important U.S. partner on issues ranging from China’s military expansionism and North Korea’s nuclear program to the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan.

Trump in February picked U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris to be his top diplomat in Canberra, but instead nominated Harris this month to be ambassador to South Korea, another long-vacant post.

Corker tells The Tennessean he was first approached about the position about three weeks ago. He spoke with Trump and (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo several times about the opportunity, but informed them last week of his decision to turn down the post.

“I shared with them there may very well be some other task down the road that they may need me to tackle on behalf of our country,” Corker said. 

The president and Pompeo respected his decision to decline the offer, and Corker said he is honored the administration asked him to serve.

A report from  Sydney, Australia, in the New York Times has the headline, “With Senator’s Snub, Australia Gets Stood Up by U.S. – Again.” It suggests that Australians are now feeling somewhat neglected by their longtime American allies.

The reality is that with other powers like China, Russia and North Korea confronting the United States, Australia is a bit player, a friend the Americans know they can invite out for dinner and then stand up.

“The perception emerging is that, well, maybe Trump doesn’t care,” Professor Blaxland said. “Maybe it doesn’t matter in his calculus.”

8 Responses to Corker turns down Trump offer to become U.S. ambassador to Australia

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    Susan E Gingrich says:

    Australia deserves an ambassador who really wants the position and would recognize it as an once in a lifetime opportunity. If they understood TN politics, they would understand why Corker prefers returning to our state to get richer.

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    James White says:

    Just let Corker retire. He is dangerous to freedom.

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    Steve L. says:

    LOL!!! The President was sending him to the other side of the world (11,000 miles or so) to get him the heck out of this country. How funny! And no matter how bad Corker is the Australians would eat him for lunch. LOL!!!

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    The Australians should consider themselves fortunate here.

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    William Upton says:

    Maybe Trump really should have his head examined!

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    Tommy Ray McAnally says:


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    Bob Fischer says:

    Why would anyone sacrifice their personal reputation to represent a criminal idiot like Trump?

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    RBSanders says:

    Comrade: You might be little but I want you far away. I’m scared to death of you.

    Senator: Ambassador my posterior end. My next job will be POTUS. And I’ll take it away from you with OUT help from your Russian Puppet-masters

    Comrade: Master, I tried but Lil Bob wouldn’t “take the bait”. Not all Americans are weak and stupid like I…
    I’m a HILLARY 2020 Democrat. Go Phil! Karl! BUT I’ll support BOB CORKER over Comrades Trump & Pence 100%. Run Bob run…for 1600 PA Ave. If a Republican is going to be in the White House, I want a damn smart, non-deplorable, Tennessean!

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