Good morning! Before we get started, I want to say that we are aware of an ad issue that is affecting some of you in which an ad on the left rail is hovering over content on some desktop browsers. Our ad provider has been made aware of this (a few times), and they assure me that they are working on a fix. In the meantime, I apologize for the inconvenience, and would like to remind you all how much I loathe ads.
Now, on to the matter at hand: Donald Trump’s relationship with Rex Tillerson.
Here’s Trump this morning, trying in vain to put out a fire that’s already gotten out of hand:
Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2017
Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by @NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2017
Nevertheless, and despite Rex Tillerson’s nearly unheard of decision to hold a press conference to affirm his own support for the President, everyone is standing behind their stories and, in fact, doubling down.
From the NYTimes:
If Mr. Tillerson had hoped to douse questions about how long he would stay, he instead further fueled a debate about his future. Although he insisted he had never considered resigning, several people close to Mr. Tillerson said he has had to be talked out of drafting a letter of resignation on more than one occasion by his closest allies, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff. And they said he has regularly expressed astonishment at how little Mr. Trump understands the basics of foreign policy.
Mr. Trump, they said, has noticed how Mr. Tillerson slouches in his presence, particularly when he disagrees with a decision. When overruled, Mr. Tillerson often says, “It’s your deal,” to the president’s irritation, according to two former administration officials.
Retiring Republican Senator Bob Corker, meanwhile, suggested that Tillerson and two others are all that separates the country from “chaos,” and by “chaos,” he means “Donald Trump.”
“(Mattis, Kelly and Tillerson) work very well together to make sure the policies we put forth around the world are sound and coherent. There are other people within the administration that don’t. I hope they stay because they’re valuable to the national security of our nation.”
In other words, the Republican chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee believes that removing Tillerson would put the country in danger.
According to Buzzfeed, it could put the country in even more danger than Corker believes. Buzzfeed is reporting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have formed a “suicide pact,” and have agreed that all three would resign if Trump targets one of them. If true, and if Trump knows that, it could be why Trump has been reluctant to fire Tillerson, though everyone in the world knows that Tillerson called Trump a “moron,” regardless of how many times Trump denies it.
Losing Tillerson would be bad, if only because it throws an already chaotic, underfunded, understaffed State Department into more chaos, and who the hell knows what kind of insane person Trump might try to replace him with. However, losing Mattis definitely would put our national security in danger, as he seems to be the only guy who has been able to keep the Iran Nuclear Deal together, and also prevent us from engaging in war with North Korea.
In either respect, Tillerson probably won’t be long for this Administration. Let’s hope Mattis doesn’t leave with him.