The U.S. Secretary of State was fired. On Twitter.
President Donald Trump just fired his embattled Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, via Twitter this morning; replacing him with former Tea Party Congressman and current Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo.
Apparently, it’s completely normal (under the current administration) to announce major policy decisions and staffing changes that impact national security and international diplomacy alongside exhortations to “get out the vote” and lavish self-praise for the state of the economy.
That tweet immediately preceded Tillerson’s ignominious departure from government service. And the announcement of Tillerson’s ouster was followed by a return to the regularly scheduled publicity tour to showcase the Mexican border wall boondoggle.
Tillerson, who has had a rocky tenure as Secretary of State nearly from the outset, was first informed of is imminent ouster with a heads up call from White House chief of staff John Kelly (also on shaky ground). The New York Times is reporting that Kelly asked Tillerson to cut short his trip to Africa and advised him last Friday that he “may get a tweet.”
It seems that Twitter is now the preferred medium of communication among all White House and Cabinet-level staff these days. The undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and affairs took to the service to issue what is, so far, Tillerson’s only response.
By any measure Tillerson’s turn at the helm of the State Department was an unmitigated disaster, according to most observers. His policy positions on everything from nuclear proliferation to dealing with Syria, Qatar, and the Kremlin were undermined or overturned by the White House.
Here’s a good synopsis from Vox:
Under Tillerson’s tenure, the State Department was also hollowed out. Political appointees were never approved to leadership roles and the rank and file staffers fled the increasingly hamstrung department.
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March 13, 2018 at 11:30AM