Bob Corker turns down offer to become next U.S. ambassador to Australia

The Trump administration wanted U.S. Sen. Bob Corker to join its diplomatic ranks.

But the retiring Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman declined, saying he turned down the chance to become the next U.S. ambassador to Australia.

“I had a number of conversations with both President (Donald) Trump and (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo,” Corker said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. “At the end of the day though…it just felt like it wasn’t the right step.”

The Australian Financial Review reported earlier Monday that Corker was a leading contender for the job, along with fellow retiring GOP senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona.