The "Passive-Aggressive" Firing of Rex Tillerson

March 13, 2018

The long-simmering tensions between President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson came to a head Tuesday, when the commander-in-chief announced the ouster of the country’s top diplomat with a tweet.

One political analyst told Cheddar the move was telling.

“It speaks a lot to the character of the two men,” commentator Rick Wilson said. “When Donald Trump was selling steaks, vodka, and a fake university, Rex Tillerson was building Exxon into the largest energy company in the world.

“The anxiety that Trump has about Tillerson being more competent than him has finally played itself out.”

Tillerson reportedly found out about his firing after Trump took to Twitter to announce that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would take over at the State Department.

The president later said he and the former ExxonMobil CEO “were not really thinking the same,” but that Pompeo had a “similar thought process.”

Still, the decision to remove Tillerson came hours after he voiced his support of UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the British government, who on Monday said Russia was likely behind the poisoning of an ex-Moscow spy.

The Trump administration did not officially second those findings.

But Wilson said Tillerson was right to consider Russia “an imminent national security threat.”

“Donald Trump doesn’t see it that way,” he told Cheddar. “There’s something wrong about Donald Trump’s relationship and viewpoint about Vladimir Putin that makes him behave this way, even when serious and consequential people around him are warning him.”

The White House denied Tillerson’s dismissal had anything to do with Russia, instead saying it wanted to have new leadership in place before Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, expected this spring.

For the full interview, click here.