Former State Secretary Rex Tillerson presented parts of his version of what went wrong with his relationship with President Donald…
Former State Secretary Rex Tillerson presented parts of his version of what went wrong with his relationship with President Donald Trump saying that he and the president did not have a shared value system and describes scenarios where he had to limit Trump’s impulses because “it’s against the law”.
Tillerson, fired in March, made his first public appearance for months at a Houston fundraiser on Thursday. He sat for an interview with CBS News veteran Bob Schieffer at the event and discussed his time at the state department under Trump.
Tillerson said he had never met Trump “until the day he asked me to be State Secretary” and described his impression of the president.
“He acts on his instincts,” said Tillerson. “In some respects, it seems impulsive, but it’s not his intention to act on impulse. I think he’s really trying to act on his instincts.”
Before becoming a state secretary, Tillerson was the long-term president of the oil and gas giant ExxonMobil. He told Schieffer that the Trump administration from “disciplined, very process-oriented” Exxon was “challenging” ̵
1; and seemed to take some shots on Trump. He said the president “does not like to read”, including summary reports, and “does not like to get into details about a lot of things.”
He said that Trump says, “See, this is what I believe. And you can try to convince me otherwise, but most of the time you will not.”
Schieffer then asked Tillerson what he thought caused that his relationship with Trump would go off the rails. Tillerson was sincere in his reply:
Tillerson would be one of the “adults in space” who guided and tempered the volatile trump, just like defense secretary Jim Mattis or now-forming National Security Advisor HR McMaster and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.
Before Trump fired him, the couple often collided – Tillerson argued that the president would stay in the climate agreement in Paris and drive him to certify Iranian compliance with Iran’s nuclear agreement. And Trump was not shy about making his disagreements at times.
But it is not as if Tillerson was a resounding success as state secretary. Perhaps he picked up Trump on some things, but as Vox Zack Beauchamp declared earlier this year, he left his post without any major achievements and hurted the government department in the process: