Rex Tillerson, Russia

RIP Rex Tillerson’s Soul

By Grace Lidia Suárez

So barely 24 hours after Rex Tillerson summoned up the backbone to finally criticize Putin, Trump summarily canned him, without even personally speaking to him.

Even though his firing is hardly a surprise to others (the New York Times predicted it two months ago), it was apparently a surprise to Tillerson. In an unusually candid statement, the State Department through its spokesman Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein said,

The Secretary did not speak to the President this morning and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling and not to be regretted,” Goldstein said in a statement.

Goldstein also said that Tillerson had “every intention of staying” before his firing.

“He established and enjoyed relationships with his counterparts. He will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and enjoyed working together with the Department of Defense in an uncommonly robust relationship,” he said.

“We wish Secretary Designate Pompeo well,” the statement concluded, referring to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whom Trump tapped to succeed Tillerson.

Articles are flowing in, none perhaps as brutal as this one from Daniel Drezner headlined:

Five thoughts about the firing of Rex Tillerson: A political eulogy for the most incompetent Secretary of State in modern history.

Just to give you a taste, here’s #3 on Drezner’s list:

3) Tillerson’s legacy will be as one of the most ineffective secretaries of state in modern history. Spoiler Alerts has written a fair amount about Tillerson’s incompetence and ineffectiveness as secretary of state. He was so incompetent that I called for him to resign in August. I would wager that everything I said in that column holds with even greater force today. His influence within the administration waned over time. His proposed redesign of the State Department was botched, and botched badly. His incompetent management of Foggy Bottom helped trigger an exodus of seasoned Foreign Service officers and crushed morale among the remaining diplomats. It seemed as though he could not visit a region without saying something that offended his hosts. There is no signature idea or doctrine or accomplishment that Tillerson can point to as part of his legacy. He was woefully unprepared for the job on Day One and barely moved down the learning curve. His incompetence undercut his ability to advance any worthwhile policy instinct.

This New York Times article details many of the problems Tillerson had, and how badly he dealt with them.

Twitter is agog, though many spotted the “coincidence” between Tillerson speaking out and his disgraceful firing.

Here’s the statement that probably got Tillerson fired:

And a kind voice.

The bottom line is that Rex Tillerson sold his soul for nothing. He leaves a weakened Department of State with his reputation in shreds.

Breaking: The AP reports Trump just fired the State Dept employee who revealed that Tillerson did not know of the firing.

Looks like it’s Goldstein, the guy who issued the frank statement reported above.

Also, another critic of Putin has just been found dead in Great Britain, according to the Telegraph.

Stay tuned.

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