Could Secretary of State be next to jump ship?
Tillerson called Trump’s recent remarks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions “unprofessional,” according to reports. (Photo: Jim Mattis/Flickr/cc)
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is considering a “Rexit,” CNN reported on Monday.
The former Exxon Mobil CEO has apparently become increasingly troubled by the Trump administration, most recently by President Donald Trump’s comments regarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In an interview with the New York Times last week the president criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the ongoing investigation into Trump’s alleged Russia ties. Tillerson reportedly found the remarks “unprofessional,” according to CNN.
The reports of Tillerson’s possible pending departure come on the heels of a turbulent week in the Trump administration. Last week Tillerson was found to have violated U.S. sanctions when Exxon signed contracts with a Russian oil magnate during his tenure as CEO—a revelation that led to calls for him to resign. The shakeup of the White House’s communications department also drew attention when Sean Spicer stepped down as press secretary on Friday and hedge fund owner Anthony Scaramucci was installed in the department’s top job.
Tillerson’s frustrations have reportedly been growing for months. He has quarreled with the White House on hiring decisions in the State Department and was not consulted before Trump issued major announcements concerning State-related issues, including the travel ban and a warning to the Syrian regime about the use of chemical weapons.
Tillerson and Trump have also publicly disagreed about a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar over Qatar’s alleged support of terrorism. While Tillerson traveled to the Middle East to attempt a resolution, Trump tweeted a message calling Qatar a funder of terrorism “at a very high level.”
As CNN reports, Tillerson has shown signs in recent weeks that “despite his frustrations, [he] was determined to stay on the job at least through the end of the year. That would allow time to continue efforts to reorganize the State Department and would mean he could claim to have put in a year as America’s top diplomat.”
But statements to the news outlet from sources close to Tillerson are pointing to the possibility of a “Rexit” taking place much sooner than anticipated.
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