Is Rex Tillerson’s Ouster Imminent?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
I’ve written before about the mutual disenchantment between him and Trump on major issues, including North Korea, the Iran nuclear deal and others.
Reportedly, he called Trump a “moron” privately. The president criticized him for “wasting his time” on seeking diplomatic outreach with North Korea.
As secretary of state, he’s been out-of-the-loop, more a potted plant on geopolitical decision-making than policymaker – warmaking and related issues delegated to hawkish administration and Pentagon generals.
He wasn’t consulted about Trump’s travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries, or use of special forces in Yemen and Somalia. Nor is he involved America’s phony war on terror.
He’s excluded from other geopolitical decision-making. His relationship with Trump soured months ago. Clearly he wants out and may leave voluntarily.
Otherwise, he may be pushed – on November 30, the New York Times saying he’ll “be replaced by (CIA director Mike) Pompeo (in) weeks,” maybe by yearend.
“The White House has developed a plan to force out” Tillerson, Pompeo replaced by neocon Senator Tom Cotton, according to unnamed sources The Times cited, adding:
White House chief of staff John Kelly “developed the transition plan and has discussed it with other officials…the shake-up (coming) around the end of the year or shortly afterward.”
Neocon UN envoy Nikki Haley was the initial favorite to replace Tillerson, discussed in an earlier article, an unnamed senior administration official saying at the time it’s 75 – 80% certain.
His relationship with Trump soured months ago, Pompeo the favorite to replace him in recent weeks. He presents Trump’s daily intelligence brief. The president relies on him for advice on various issues.
Cotton is close to Trump on national security issues. The Times called him “a valued outside advisor.”
Perhaps around the yearend holiday period or early in the new year a changing of the guard at State and Langley will occur.
Despite saying he never considered leaving his post as secretary of state, Tillerson may be eager to separate from Trump, go home, and focus on new activities, away from the Washington spotlight.
A separate Vanity Fair report suggested Pompeo will replace him in January, according to an unnamed State Department staffer.
An unnamed former diplomat called it “all but a done deal.” In weeks, we may know if Tillerson is leaving or staying.
The former seems likely, but not certain unless officially announced.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”