The latest on the firing of Rex Tillerson suggests that it was a disagreement over how to approach the Iran deal, struck by the previous administration.
It was a bad deal.
This was just supposedly the latest of a series of clashes between Tillerson and Trump. Tillerson felt we should stay in the deal, while Trump wanted the deal either reworked or scrapped, completely.
Tillerson’s ouster was said to be a surprise, however, and this afternoon, the now-former Secretary of State addressed the press.
Throughout the brief appearance, Tillerson looked and sounded strained, tired.
He thanked the State Department, as well as the Defense Department, and praised their work.
He thanked the military.
He thanked the American people.
There was no praise or thanks given to the president.
He did mention Trump, but only to talk about the conversation with him, following finding that he’d been fired through a Trump tweet.
“I received a call today from the president of the United States a little after noontime from Air Force One, and I’ve also spoken to White House chief of staff [John] Kelly to ensure we have clarity about the days ahead,” Tillerson said. “What is most important is to ensure an orderly and smooth transition during a time that the country continues to face significant policy and national security challenges.”
He sounds like a professional. Imagine that.
Trump had boasted in an earlier press conference that the decision to fire Tillerson was made by himself, and that he almost has the Cabinet he wants.
Insane talk from a president into his second year in office. You’d think he’d have had what he wanted, by now.
Besides not thanking the president, Tillerson twisted the knife a bit, with his comments on Russia.
Tillerson also took a parting shot at Russia, saying “much work remains to respond to the troubling behavior and actions on the part of the Russian government.”
“Russia must assess carefully as to how its actions are in the best interests of the Russian people and of the world more broadly,” he added. “Continuing on their current trajectory is likely to lead to greater isolation on their part, a situation which is not in anyone’s interest.”
Sure, it was the Iran deal that led to Tillerson’s ouster, and totally not his agreement with the U.K. about the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo will be moving into Tillerson’s seat at the State Department.