Opinion Their Final Disagreement: How Trump Fired Tillerson
The Latest: Officials say White House fired Tillerson aide
<p>Two U.S. officials say the White House has fired one of Rex Tillerson's top aides after he contradicted the official account of the secretary of state's dismissal by President Donald Trump.</p>The officials said Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, was informed of the move shortly after he released a statement in his name saying that Tillerson was "unaware of the reason" for his termination. Goldstein had also told reporters that Tillerson learned of his firing Tuesday morning from Trump's tweet announcing he was nominating CIA chief Mike Pompeo to lead the State Department.
Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson disagreed on global trade, climate change, NATO, the nuclear deal with Iran, talks with North Korea, Qatar’s impasse with its neighbors, and, ultimately, even how the president fired his secretary of state.
The White House said Tuesday that Tillerson was informed last Friday that he would be replaced as secretary of state. But the statement released Tuesday by Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, suggested Tillerson did not see it coming until he saw the president’s tweet Tuesday morning that he would be replaced by Mike Pompeo, the CIA director. After Goldstein himself has been fired since making the statement.
Trump ordered Tillerson to eat salad during dinner in China: report
President Trump ordered Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to eat a salad served to U.S. diplomats during a trip to China last year, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.The Chinese leaders had reportedly included Caesar salad on the menu for a dinner wi th Trump, Tillerson and other top U.S. officials in November. The event was held in China's Great Hall of the People during Trump's tour of Asia.Trump grew worried that the Chinese officials might be offended if the U.S. leaders didn't eat the salad, the Journal reported."Rex, eat the salad," Trump told his top diplomat, according to the newspaper.
The APtwo unnamed senior department officials as saying Tillerson “received a call from John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, on Friday, but was only told that there might be a presidential tweet that would concern him. Kelly didn’t tell Tillerson what the tweet might say or when it might actually publish.” In public remarks Tuesday, Trump said he’d been considering replacing Tillerson for some time, but made the final decision recently, and “by myself.” A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was little clarity at the department over what was happening or who was in charge. “We are all waiting for something official,” the official said.
Tillerson’s ouster comes as the Trump administration shifts gears on its major foreign-policy challenge. Last Thursday, Trumphe was ready to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Just hours earlier Tillerson had in Ethiopia: “We are a long ways from negotiations” with North Korea. That was only the most recent occasion in which the president and the secretary of state appeared to be at odds over the issue. Until Thursday, it was Tillerson who had advocated dialogue with the North Koreans while Trump and his aides had publicly favored a tougher approach, and cast doubt on the use of talking.
Tillerson fails to thank Trump after firing
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thanked the American people, his State Department staff and the nation's extensive network of diplomats in his farewell statement on Tuesday. One person he did not thank: President Donald Trump, the man who nominated him for the job but abruptly told the world of his ouster in a tweet on Tuesday morning.The only mention of Trump came at the top of the statement when Tillerson mentioned that the President had called him at "a little after noontime from Air Force One" to talk about his ouster.
Trump and Tillerson also disagreed publicly on the future of the nuclear deal with Iran. “We were not really thinking the same,” Trump said Tuesday about his differences with Tillerson over the agreement. “With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process.” Trump had called the agreement “the worst deal in history” and wanted the U.S. to withdraw from it. Tillerson said the deal was flawed, but that it did what it was supposed to: freeze Iran’s nuclear program. He had been working with U.S. allies who are part of the agreement to find a solution to the impasse caused by Trump’s position.
They were also divided on NATO: Trump dismissed it as irrelevant while, early in his presidency, appearing to condition U.S. support for its NATO allies on their defense expenditures. Tillerson tried to soothe the fears this caused within the alliance, which were being exacerbated by Russia’s increasingly muscular foreign policy.
Trump's firing of Tillerson came after months of disagreements
It's by far the biggest Trump administration shakeup yet as a shaken Tillerson relinquished control of the State Department ."I received a call today from the president of the United States a little after noontime from Air Force One," Tillerson said.He had been warned in an early Saturday morning phone call from White House chief of staff John Kelly that his job was in jeopardy.Tillerson -- who had been traveling in Africa -- cut short his trip.Hours after landing in Washington, Tillerson learned Tuesday he'd been fired and would be replaced by Pompeo.Mr.
On Qatar, Trump appeared to blame Doha for the impasse with its Gulf neighbors (and for funding terrorism), while Tillerson supported a negotiated settlement among America’s Arab allies—who include Qatar as well as the Saudi and UAE-led coalition pushing to isolate the country.
Tillerson cautioned the president against moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, which Trump did anyway; and he wanted the U.S. to stay in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and the Paris climate accord, both of which Trump withdrew the U.S. from. Most recently, Trump and Tillerson differed on Russia’s role in the attempted assassination in the U.K. of a former Russian spy and his daughter. Tillerson supported the U.K. government’s assessment that Russia was behind the attack. Trump, who has been reluctant to criticize Russia publicly, has hedged instead of echoing that line.
The manner in which Tillerson was ousted—via Twitter—once again shows Trump’s reluctance to directly tell people to go. He didn’t fire Tom Price, the secretary for Health and Human Services, who resigned last fall. He has railed against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but stopped short of pushing him out.
Tillerson cut short by a day a trip he was on to Africa and returned to Washington. He told reporters en route to Washington that he was tired after becoming ill in Ethiopia and after working across multiple time zones on North Korea. The AP pointed out: “There were no obvious signs from his behavior or his aides on the plane that his departure was imminent.” Hours later, he was gone.
Tillerson urges 'kindness' in farewell remarks at State .
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday praised the work of the agency's employees and urged kindness in the face of what he called "a very mean-spirited town." Speaking to department personnel in what are likely to be his last remarks as the nation's chief diplomat, Tillerson emphasized values of respect and dignity, and called for employees to perform "one act of kindness" each day. "This can Speaking to department personnel in what are likely to be his last remarks as the nation's chief diplomat, Tillerson emphasized values of respect and dignity, and called for employees to perform "one act of kindness" each day.
President Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
US president Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a day after he left Kenya as part of his Africa tour. Trump says he had disagreements with his top envoy on a number issues,...
President Trump Fires Rex Tillerson Press Conference 3/12/18
President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, tweeting this morning that he plans to replace him with CIA director Mike Pompeo. "Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will...
Tuesday, 19 june 2018
In March of 2017, then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about a possible new initiative separating children from their parents at the border. “I would do almost anything to deter the people from Central America from getting on this very, very dangerous […]
Tuesday, 19 june 2018
The greatest tragedy of the immigration debate is that despite the acrimony surrounding it, it’s arguably the policy most easily fixed.Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or […]
Tuesday, 19 june 2018
Anushay Hossain writes that Ivanka Trump must use her platform to advocate for children being forcibly separated from their parents thanks to the Trump administration's policy of zero tolerance.Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content […]
Tuesday, 19 june 2018
Coverage of illegal-immigration issues has always been shot through with emotionally manipulative falsehood.The illegal-immigration issue has always been one fraught with politicking. We always hear the same refrain from both sides: that people are suffering and living in the shadows; […]
Monday, 18 june 2018
Dean Obeidallah writes that there can be no contest -- President Trump has lied far more times than President Obama ever did.Even the harshest critics of Donald Trump have to concede that the President excels at one thing -- lying. And he does so far more than his predecessor ever dared […]
Monday, 18 june 2018
The Trump administration keeps changing reasons for taking children from parents when they cross the border. Maybe because there is no good excuse.Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views […]
Monday, 18 june 2018
We need a plan for faster growth that doesn’t come at the expense of the middle and working classes.Prior to the president’s victory, protectors of free enterprise, foreign-policy hawks, and social conservatives controlled the GOP by giving each other what they wanted most: lower taxes […]