Rex Tillerson

How Rex Tillerson Has Alienated Almost Everyone

“The most challenging task in Washington, these days, is finding somebody who’ll enthusiastically endorse Rex Tillerson. In just nine months, the Secretary of State has managed to alienate nearly every constituency that matters,” Jonathan Swan reports.

Said a former top Bush administration official: “He’s got no support from the left on management and no support from the right on policy.”

“Tillerson alienated his natural constituency — moderates who view him as a restraining influence on Trump — by what he’s done, or failed to do, managerially at the State Department. He’s surrounded himself by a tiny circle and hasn’t sought much advice from outsiders. And he’s got no ideological constituency on the right because he doesn’t embrace the forward-leaning posture on human rights, or the aggressive stance on Russia, that Republicans typically expect of their top diplomats.”

Putin Says Tillerson Has ‘Fallen Into Bad Company’

Russian President Vladimir Putin joked that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had veered off the path of cooperation and “fallen into bad company,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“In recent weeks, Washington and Moscow have been engaged in a diplomatic tit-for-tat. Russia has ordered the culling of 755 staff members from the U.S. State Department’s Mission in Russia. Last week, the U.S. ordered the closure of Russia’s San Francisco consulate, a move Putin said this week he would instruct his foreign ministry to take up with the U.S. legal system.”

Said Putin: “I hope that the wind of cooperation, friendship and interaction will bring him to the right course in the end.”

Trump’s Frustration with Tillerson Grows

Jonathan Swan: “There’s a ticking problem with Rex Tillerson, and it’s growing louder by the day, according to officials inside and close to the White House.”

“President Trump has been growing increasingly frustrated with his Secretary of State. One time recently, after Trump had returned from a meeting on Afghanistan, a source recalled Trump saying, ‘Rex just doesn’t get it, he’s totally establishment in his thinking.'”

“Tillerson’s jaw-dropping comments on TV today will likely only worsen their relationship.”

Rex Tillerson Is a Micromanager

New York Times: “Even skeptics of Mr. Tillerson’s foreign policy credentials thought the State Department, an agency of 75,000 employees, could use some of the management skills he had picked up as the head of a major corporation… Instead, he has failed to nominate anyone to most of the department’s 38 highest-ranking jobs, leaving many critical departments without direction.”

“Almost from the time of his arrival, Mr. Tillerson has said the department needed to be reorganized, and he has embarked on a wholesale rethinking of its structure. … [But] his reorganization effort has contributed to the paralysis. He has not wanted to appoint under secretaries and assistant secretaries until he understands the new structure.”

Tillerson Spurns Funds to Fight Propaganda

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “is resisting the pleas of State Department officials to spend nearly $80 million allocated by Congress for fighting terrorist propaganda and Russian disinformation,” Politico reports.

“It is highly unusual for a Cabinet secretary to turn down money for his department. But more than five months into his tenure, Tillerson has not issued a simple request for the money earmarked for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, $60 million of which is now parked at the Pentagon.”

State Department Says Tillerson Taking Time Off

Business Insider: “When asked about the discrepancies between Rex Tillerson’s public schedule and his reported movements, and why the department hadn’t updated the press on his whereabouts, Heather Nauert said Tillerson ‘does have the ability to go away for a few days on his own.'”

Said Nauert: “Just taking a little time off. He’s got a lot of work. He just came back from that mega-trip overseas, as you all well know — many of you were over there with the G-20.”

“Asked why she didn’t just say Tillerson was on vacation, Nauert said she didn’t know the standard protocol for listing private days.”

Unrest Bubbles Among Trump’s Foreign Policy Team

“Frustration is mounting among leading foreign policy officials in President Donald Trump’s administration as they chafe at some policy and bureaucratic defeats and complain they lack independence to do their jobs,” Reuters reports.

“The clash between internationalists urging the traditional U.S. leadership role in the world and advocates of an ‘America First’ approach has worn down foreign policy and intelligence professionals inside the government.”

“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has told friends he will be lucky to last a year in his job, according to a friend, while two officials said national security adviser H.R. McMaster was frustrated by what he sees as disorganization and indiscipline on key policy issues inside the White House.”

Tillerson Mulls Quitting After Trump Bashes Sessions

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is growing increasingly frustrated with the Trump administration and could quit before the year is through, Newsweek reports.

“Two sources familiar with Tillerson’s conversations with friends told CNN over the weekend that he has grown so frustrated with President Trump and his administration that there may soon be a ‘Rexit.'”

“Trump publicly assailed one of Tillerson’s fellow Cabinet members, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying he regretted hiring him. Tillerson, the sources said, viewed Trump’s comments as unprofessional.”

Tillerson Talks About Frustrations on the Job

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not mean to criticize the U.S. government but that, on a whole, “it’s largely not a highly disciplined organization.”

Said Tillerson: “Decision-making is fragmented, and sometimes people don’t want to take decisions. Coordination is difficult through the interagency process.”

Tillerson Blows Up at Top White House Aide

“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s frustrations with the White House have been building for months. Last Friday, they exploded. The normally laconic Texan unloaded on Johnny DeStefano, the head of the presidential personnel office, for torpedoing proposed nominees to senior State Department posts and for questioning his judgment,” Politico reports.

“Tillerson also complained that the White House was leaking damaging information about him to the news media, according to a person familiar with the meeting. Above all, he made clear that he did not want DeStefano’s office to ‘have any role in staffing’ and ‘expressed frustration that anybody would know better’ than he about who should work in his department — particularly after the president had promised him autonomy to make his own decisions and hires.”

“The episode stunned other White House officials gathered in chief of staff Reince Priebus’ office, leaving them silent as Tillerson raised his voice.”

White House Frustration Grows with Tillerson Over Jobs

“The White House is becoming increasingly frustrated with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and a close-knit circle of aides over the slow pace of hiring and a chokehold on information and access to Tillerson,”: the Washington Post reports.

“Tillerson, a former Exxon Mobil chief executive with no prior government experience, gets some of the blame from White House officials and political advisers anxious to place Republican political appointees in numerous vacant positions at the State Department.”

McCain Slams Tillerson on Foreign Policy

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) slammed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a New York Times op-ed, accusing the nation’s chief diplomat of adopting a foreign policy that abandons both U.S. values and victims of oppression around the world, Politico reports.

McCain’s op-ed came in response to remarks Tillerson delivered last week to State Department employees, in which he said that “in some circumstances if you condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values, we probably can’t achieve our national security goals.”

“Tillerson’s boss, President Donald Trump, has made a habit of offering warm words for dictators and political strongmen from around the world, including Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.”

Tillerson In No Rush to Fill 200 Jobs

New York Times: “Many have little to do until the Trump administration starts filling the nearly 200 jobs at the department that require Senate confirmation, and their agendas look increasingly as though they will remain empty. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson has done almost nothing to select leaders for the White House’s consideration, and nominations for assistant secretaries and others who largely run the State Department are unlikely to be made for months.”

“With a Senate confirmation process that takes months, that means the department will remain largely leaderless until well into 2018. And no other department in the federal government is as dependent on political appointees, or as paralyzed when the appointment process freezes.”