Buried in Friday’s off-the-rails and action-packed news cycle was an interview that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave to CBS’ Bob Schieffer. In that sit-down, Tillerson called President Donald Trump “pretty undisciplined” and said that he “doesn’t like to read.”
It was a blistering rebuke of his former boss, and Tillerson — who was the top oil man at Exxon before joining the administration — said that the transition into the cabinet was tough because the president is a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants sort of boss who doesn’t even read the briefing reports that he’s given.
Here’s that interview:
And, of course, Trump, never one to take an insult (or often even a compliment) without adding his own spin, wasn’t going to let the opportunity to blast another one his former employees pass.
The tweeter-in-chief lashed out, calling Tillerson “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell” and saying that current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is the real deal.
Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him. His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
Tillerson’s criticism of Trump is pretty standard for an ex-employee of this administration, unless, of course, they have their eye on a cushy gig in Washington or with Fox News. Omarosa Manigault-Newman criticized Trump repeatedly after she was ousted, as has Michael Cohen.
But Tillerson was reportedly critical of Trump even while in the White House, where he called the president a “moron.”
Mike Pompeo has stayed relatively silent in his role as Secretary of State, there have been no ugly leaks from the former CIA Director and Kansas Congressman.
Meanwhile, Pompeo’s duty of making sure the United States is in good graces around the world has been made a bit difficult by his boss. Trump has been openly critical of the leaders of France and Britain, two of America’s most loyal allies. And that’s been happening while he’s playing nice with the dictators leading Russia and China which have been historically loose adversaries.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.