Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently traveled to Asia, where he made stops in China, South Korea, and Japan. Some of the main topics he addressed on his trip were U.S.-China relations, North Korea and Japan’s defenses.
But Tillerson also made some startling comments about his thoughts on being Secretary of State. In an interview with the independent Journal Review, Tillerson was quoted saying:
I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job.
These words won’t fill anyone with confidence, especially in a man who is responsible for managing the United States’ foreign relations.
Tillerson was then asked why he agreed to take on the demanding role, to which he gave a fairly simple answer:
My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.
Tillerson hadn’t met President Donald Trump before the election. When Trump was figuring out who he wanted in his administration after his victory he asked Tillerson if they could have a conversation “about the world,” given that Tillerson had dealt with a plethora of complex global issues during his time as CEO of Exxon Mobil. Tillerson commented:
“When he asked me at the end of that conversation to be secretary of state, I was stunned.”
Tillerson went home without giving trump an answer and told his wife about it, to which she shook a finger his face and said:
“I told you God’s not through with you.”
(Apparently working as an oil executive to conceal the effects of fossil fuels on climate change is what passes for God’s work these days.)
The now Secretary of State also added that “I was supposed to retire in March, this month. I was going to go to the ranch to be with my grandkids.” Instead, Tillerson now holds the highest office in the cabinet, serving at the “pleasure of the President.”
This is a shocking admission from Tillerson. A Secretary of State should be dedicated, enthusiastic and actually want the job. The fact that Tillerson is none of these things is very concerning, especially at a time when U.S. relations with the rest of the world are constantly strained by our childish President’s entirely undiplomatic manner.
It also begs the question: how committed is Tillerson to the continued prosperity and international primacy of the United States?