Tillerson says he's comfortable in job and with Trump

Saul Bowman
August 4, 2017

Former State Department officials are coming out of the woodwork to rip Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for sitting on funds assigned to a department office that counters ISIS propaganda and Russian disinformation campaigns.

North Korea said the test-firing aimed to "finally confirm the overall technological specifications of the weapon system of Hwasong-14 capable of carrying large-sized heavy nuclear warhead, including its maximum range".

Tillerson and other key players, including China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, will also be in the Philippine capital - but Susan Thornton, the acting U.S. assistant secretary of state, said the USA diplomat would not take the opportunity to meet Ri. "Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk".

Despite his displeasure with the sanctions, Tillerson said of the president, "all indications are he will sign that bill".

"I think from his perspective and how he looks in the eyes of his own people, he felt he had to do something", Tillerson said of the delayed response. "We have differences, but I think if we're not having those differences I'm not sure that I am serving him".

"He's told me that".

Moscow's decision, of course, will make our lives more hard, Tillerson told reporters at the State Department when asked about the consequences of Russian measures. In June, Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate change accord against Tillerson's advice.

Trump hasn't made Tillerson's job easy, particularly through sometimes incendiary tweets on foreign policy matters.

But Tillerson might be running out of time.

But he made it clear that there was no possibility of talks if North Korea did not abandon its nuclear programme.

Apart from advancing that narrow agenda, Tillerson will also be exposed to a wide array of other issues in a multilateral setting by attending other meetings. At the same time, he stressed that Washington doesn't blame Beijing for North Korea's behavior, while reinforcing Trump's point that the US wants greater Chinese determination on the matter.

"We do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula", Tillerson said. I don't view it as an obstacle, hindrance or as assistance.

"This is an extraordinary example of the dysfunction that is ripping through the State Department".

As current and former officials tell it, Tillerson's hesitation to authorize the funds is the latest example of the suspicion the former ExxonMobil CEO supposedly has for the career officers at State, who feel marginalized by a cabal of outsiders now running the show at Foggy Bottom.

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