TrumpWatch, Day 269: Tillerson — Trump Didn’t “Castrate” Me

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Tillerson: “I’m fully intact”


Developments on Day 269 of the Trump Administration:

Tillerson Insists Trump Has Not Undercut Him

Amid reported tension with Donald Trump — including Trump’s undermining of his diplomatic efforts on issues such as North Korea — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has refuted public comments that he has been “castrated” by the President.

“I checked,” Tillerson said on a Sunday political talk show. “I’m fully intact.”

Last week Senator Bob Corker, the head of the Foreign Relations Committee, commented in an interview on Trump’s Twitter refutation of Tillerson: “You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice. The tweets — yes, you raise tension in the region (and) it’s very irresponsible.”

Corker, who has criticized Trump’s lack of stability and said Tillerson and other advisors are preventing chaos, credited the Secretary of State for working with China over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

But while denying any loss of authority, Tillerson again refused to deny multi-sourced reports that he called Trump a “f****** moron” in July, following the President’s comments on Afghanistan and US nuclear weapons that unsettled advisors.

Instead, he talked of “how [Trump] wants to use his own skills tactically to make change”, adding, “I’m there to help him achieve that.”

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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