Rex Tillerson, the longtime CEO of Exxon, was a surprising pick for Secretary of State. Nobody was more surprised by it than Tillerson himself, who had no previous connection to Trump. He told the Independent Journal Review:
I didn’t want this job, I didn’t seek this job. My wife told me I’m supposed to do this . . . I was supposed to retire in March, this month. I was going to go to the ranch to be with my grandkids.
After months of abuse and unprecedented mistreatment from his new boss, things finally appeared to reach a breaking point on Sunday morning. It came, as much insanity around Trump does, through Twitter.
A few days earlier, Tillerson had made a rare top-level admission that the U.S. government was in direct contact with the North Korean regime in Pyonyang.
The two nations do not have diplomatic relations, so most messages back and forth are sent through an intermediary. An admission of direct contact was unusual, and was clearly intended to help defuse the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
It’s the kind of bold diplomatic move that is, of course, the job of the Secretary of State.
What’s not normal, is for the President of the United States to then come out swinging and publicly undermine his own chief diplomat.
…Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
is there any reason for Tillerson to continue suffering these indignities?
Accepting the job offer in the first place was maybe motivated by an admirable sense of duty. But he doesn’t seem to have any influence at all on Trump’s ultimate course.
(Photo of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaking to the media following a meeting with Iranian leaders over the Iran nuclear deal on September 20, 2017, in New York City, by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.)