Why Rex Tillerson is Out as Secretary of State
I guess Tillerson did not get the memo, or Tweet! Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States.
The Secretary of State reports to the President. You may have your own opinions but you better keep them to yourself! While you are in his cabinet, you don’t have an opinion in the outside world. You can state your opinion one on one with the President but in public, you better understand and support the President’s agenda. It is not like it is a mystery!
Tillerson on Iran JCPOA Agreement:
In August of 2017, Tillerson described his and the President’s positions on the Iran agreement.
“He and I have differences of views on things like JCPOA, and how we should use it. There are a lot of alternative means with which we use the agreement to advance our policies and the relationship with Iran, and that’s what the conversation generally is around with the president as well.”
You may have “differences of views” but the policy is ONLY set by the President, not the Sec. of State! Secretaries of State should be seen, and not heard, if they do not agree with the President. By publicly showing daylight with the President, you are undermining his ability to negotiate better terms with Iran and demonstrate to our allies that we are serious!
Tillerson on Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem!
In December of 2017, Tillerson said of Trump moving our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem while addressing the State Department:
“It’s not going to be anything that happens right away. Probably no earlier than three years out, and that’s pretty ambitious.”
Trump later decided to OPEN the new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14th, 2018!!! 5+ months after Tillerson made the comment that the move would not be made until after 2020! Tillerson saw the embassy as an impediment to the Israeli/Palestinian peace talks. Trump saw the move as a way to eliminate a negotiating point out of the peace process and make the Palestinians focus on recognizing Israel if they want a peace agreement. What is surprising is that Tillerson would make any statement on timing without consulting with the President! Tillerson’s public opinion is not important or even relevant.
Tillerson on Trump’s North Korean Toughness Policy
Tillerson just did not get Trump’s approach to North Korea and that he totally tore up the State Department book on “how to negotiate with a nut job”! Trump kept pressure on Kim Jong Un via his Tweets that served to engage Kim directly in throwing threats and name calling back and forth. Trump backed his tweets with the toughest sanctions regime ever that choked off cash, goods and services from the rogue regime. Trump knew that if he could keep the pressure on China who is North Korea’s largest trading partner (92%) then he could bring Kim to his knees, ON TRUMP’S TERMS.
Trump’s terms for sitting down with KIM were simple. Agree to denuclearize and stop testing nuclear arms and missiles. But, Tillerson had a totally different view and approach to Kim that really makes no sense when dealing with a nut-job like Kim. In December, 2017, Tillerson made a totally counterproductive statement with regards to our conditions, or not, to meet with Kim:
“It is not realistic to say we are only going to talk if you are ready to give up your program. They (North Korea) has too much invested in it (NK nuclear program). The President is very realistic about this as well.”
Seriously. Rex needed to read the “ART of the DEAL”. Trump would never sit down with Kim without denuclearization in the center of the table. Trump does not care about unifying the peninsula or any other lofty goals at this point. He is trying to keep Japan, Guam and Hawaii from being vaporized by a Kim Nuclear attack! We can deal with the niceties later! Taking the normal State Department “how to negotiate with a nut job” approach by not creating conditions that allow us to set the terms of negotiations rather than weakly crawl up to the table with our hat in hand and a pallet of cash on the plane waiting on the tarmac, is simply not in Trump’s cards. Tillerson should have recognized this by now!
Tillerson on Climate Change Vs Trump
President Trump has not been shy about his disdain for the Paris Accord and for the general topic of climate change. He viewed the Paris Accord as a one-sided agreement with the US footing the whole bill while the earth’s worst polluters got off Scott free for years. And, Trump is right! He also questioned the climate change premise that climate change was a threat to our very existence and a top national security threat. He said over and over again while campaigning that he would either renegotiate the Paris Accord or bail altogether.
Tillerson never agreed with Trump on climate change or the Paris Accord and started widening the chasm with Trump during his confirmation hearing in January of 2017! Tillerson responded to a question on climate change as follows:
“It’s important that the United States maintain its seat at the table with the conversations around how to deal with the threats of climate change,”
In a single statement, Tillerson said that he did not believe we should get out of the Paris Accord even if we could not renegotiate its terms. Further, in the second half, he validated his belief that climate change is real and a threat to humanity! Both positions at odds with President Trump! Tillerson needed to temper his remarks and not directly counter the President’s positions that he would have zero chance of changing!
You can ask why the President would have selected people like Tillerson, Gary Cohn, and others who did not agree with his core policies and beliefs. The President is a business person who believes that key advisors can have differing opinions but who fall in line when he makes the policy decision. All talking is done offline and no counter talking is done after the policy is set. Tillerson and others have not adhered to this concept and have allowed Trump’s detractors from picking at his carcass on very key issues during touchy points in the negotiating process.
Trump is the leader, the others are there to implement his policy!
If you are unsure of Trump’s positions, you better asked before calling the Washington Post or CNN!