Will there be a Rexit? The rift between Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson continues to widen.
In the last month, Trump has been battling with so many people that you need a score card to keep track. There was the open feud with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Then, the ongoing feuds with Reince Priebus, who got the boot out the door, the bullying of Mitch McConnell, and let us not forget the leaving of Sean Spicer and the best boot of all: Steve Bannon. (Seriously, I don’t think many people cried over Bannon’s demise.) That’s a lot of people in such a short time, not including Scaramucci, who does not really deserve to be counted..
Now Trump has started a new bully regime against the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. It has been rumored for months that Tillerson is unhappy and is at least trying to stay until the end of the year. The Hill reported in July that Tillerson was unhappy and frustrated in his role as Secretary of State.
Tillerson is the former CEO of Exxon; and, by the accounts of his friends, they sensed back in July that Tillerson’s doubts about Trump were growing. Here we are in August, and most likely the doubts are much greater now.
The rift widened with Trump’s comments about Charlotteville. Tillerson was a guest on Fox News Sunday when show anchor Chris Wallace asked Tillerson about a UN panel criticism over Trump’s values and his response to the violence in Charlottesville. Tillerson responded, “The President speaks for himself, Chris.” As The Atlantic reported, “The remarks are striking, not only because they come from Tillerson, who occupies what traditionally has been the highest-ranking Cabinet position, but also because the secretary of state appears to suggest the president’s values may not always be in sync with America’s values.
Trump wasted no time in blasting Tillerson. On his return from Afghanistan, Trump commented that “Rex just doesn’t get it.” What is “it”, you have to wonder. Is “it” bowing down to Trump – even when he is dead wrong? Most likely yes, Tillerson doesn’t get “it.”
There are lots of reasons Trump (or his merry band of henchmen) are angry at Rex. Tillerson contradicted Trump on Qatar. Trump attacked Qatar by insisting that they are funding terrorism at a high level. In other words, Trump was backing Saudi Arabia. Tillerson tried to soften Trump’s message. What Trump didn’t get is that Qatar has the largest U.S. military base in the region, and it is where the US bases its strikes against ISIS. Oh duh, Donald, do your damn homework. You wonder why Tillerson was trying to soften your message? Donald is more worried about Rex shushing him than trying to preserve our ties with Qatar. Isn’t that what secretary of states do?
Do we have to mention when Donald blustered that military force would not be ruled out when dealing with Venezuela? That’s exactly what all of South America wants to hear. The US has such a great reputation there. Not. Tillerson and staff were going for a more diplomatic approach. Isn’t that what diplomats do?
It’s about time someone grew some balls and stood up for American values. The Washington Examiner wrote that Tillerson avoided affirming that Trump represents American values during a Sunday interview, an unusual breach within an administration. His team chose not to downplay the split, but instead confirmed that Tillerson is keeping his distance. Will #45 make Tillerson his next target? Seems like they are both fed up with each other.