Foreign Policy

Trump Rejected Talking to Tillerson Before the North Korea Announcement

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

We know Trump made the decision to announce a meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un on a whim without any input from anyone, but that's not the whole story.

The Associated Press story on Tillerson's abrupt firing this morning includes this previously unreported detail:

Dismissing Tillerson had been discussed at multiple levels for a long time, said a senior White House official, adding that the North Korea overture and invitation brought more urgency to the decision. Two officials said Trump wanted to have a new team in place ahead of an upcoming meeting with Kim, the North Korean leader.

One senior White House official said that when Trump made the decision to meet with Kim while Tillerson was in Africa, an aide asked if Tillerson should weigh in on the matter. Trump said there was no reason to consult him because no matter what the group decided, Tillerson would be against it, the official said.

Trump didn't simply make the decision without input, he actively rejected the idea of asking for input when prompted. And he could have ultimately made the decision to announce a meeting even if Tillerson dissented, but he didn't even want to hear dissent.

I don't think this bodes well for Tillerson's replacement regardless of who it is. Even if you figure Trump's next choice will be a yes-man, they're going to disagree at some point or another and, when that time comes, nothing they've done for Trump will matter. Trump expects loyalty, but he shows none in return.

Everyone who works with Trump is eventually humiliated. Trump may like Mike Pompeo today, but give it a few months and he won't like him anymore.

It's obviously concerning that Trump is making world-altering decisions with complete disinterest in opposing viewpoints even if they come from his own people.

  • Draxiar

    At this point anyone who willingly works for trump gets what they deserve when he invokes his one way street mentality.

  • sawadee2000

    Tillerson was appointed to his position for the sole reason of getting American sanctions against Russia lifted, so that the 500 billion dollar oil deal could go through. Undoubtedly Putin leaned on Trump to make this happen. Trump’s master is NOT going to be pleased with Pompeo….neither is anyone who doesn’t look forward to Trump lobbing nukes around. Sadly, once Trump feels painted into a corner by Robert Mueller, we can look forward to rump ginning up a phony war as the ultimate distraction.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump has never listened to dissenting voices. He “goes with his gut” and surrounds himself with toadies who will voluntarily be scapegoats when everything goes south. That’s been his business model since day one.

    Hell of a way to run a country.


  • Does anyone in their right mind actually think Trump can make a deal with NK? I mean, he will get there, insult Kim Jong Un within the first 5 minutes and it will be all over. Un is NOT used to be talked down to, insulted or made fun of….This is not going to end well. Not at all.

  • ninjaf

    Pompeo is more of a hawk; Tillerson (for all of his faults) wanted to give diplomacy a try first; Trump wants to blow stuff up so he can rub his “big button.”

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