Jared Kushner holds the knife sticking out of Tillerson’s back in this exposé
When former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was ignominiously fired by Donald Trump in March, it was not so much surprising as it was one of the continuing chaotic outcomes of this garbage fire we call the Trump administration. Ronan Farrow has a big piece on the “last days” of TIllerson’s tenure, in The New Yorker. Stacked inside of the exposé is this great illustration of the wretchedness of our country’s best and brightest.
When I mentioned the White House’s role in escalating rumors of his demise, Tillerson appeared to have been waiting for the question. “Mm-hmm,” he said, nodding. “When you say ‘the White House,’ who are you talking about?” he asked. “The White House is comprised of how many people?” Hook, the director of policy planning, chimed in that the answer was perhaps in the thousands. Tillerson waved him off. “But people that matter, people that might have an interest in whether I stay or leave, there’s about one hundred and sixty of them.” Tillerson leaned in and, for a moment, I realized that it must be unpleasant to be fired by him. “I know who it is. I know who it is. And they know I know.”
Spoiler alert—it’s Jared Kushner. Jared Kushner and the fact that the State Department is a wasteland that’s been allowed to lie dangerously fallow for way too long because of the unbelievable ineptitude of both Rex Tillerson and Donald Trump. Farrow gets a nice quote out of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who faced the same kind of power-struggle with the dark lord Dick Cheney, under Bush jr.
The former Secretary of State Colin Powell recalled having similar turf wars with Vice-President Dick Cheney. “I’ve been in similar situations, where I suddenly discovered we’ve created military commissions. ‘Wait a minute—that’s a legal matter and a legal matter the State Department has primacy on.’ ” But Powell was one of several former Secretaries to express bafflement at Tillerson’s approach to his shrinking mandate. “I can’t tell. He may love it,” Powell said, with a shrug. “I can’t tell that he objects.” And then, with a wry smile, “Maybe if we had ambassadors there, they’d pick it up—that’s what they do.”