Perhaps no member of any president’s cabinet has had his imminent departure announced as often as Rex Tillerson. I think he’s been fired just about every other day since he was confirmed according to press reports. But this week the baying for his resignation hit a crescendo with virtually every news outlet insisting that he had weeks or maybe hours left as Secretary of State.
Tillerson has made light of the stories. Secretary of Defense James Mattis dismissed the reports as fabrications. Just a few minutes ago, President Trump weighed in:
The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon – FAKE NEWS! He’s not leaving and while we disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!https://t.co/FrqiPLFJ1E
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
My personal view is that there are people in the White House who want Tillerson gone. The hand-in-glove relationship they have with friendly reporters leads me to point fingers at State Department staff detailed to the National Security Council because the White House is basically purged of Bannonites and Kelly is running a pretty tight ship in regards to leaks. They are right that Tillerson and Trump do not have a great relationship but they overplayed their hand. If Trump was thinking of getting rid of Tillerson, there is no way he was going to do it after it had been leaked to the press. So bullsh** or not, this whispering campaign directed against Tillerson has, in effect, made him bulletproof.