‘He acts on his instincts and, in some respects, that looks like impulsiveness…’
(Tom Benning, The Dallas Morning News) Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday described former boss President Donald Trump as someone who is “pretty undisciplined,” “doesn’t like to read” and “doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things.”
The Texas native and former Exxon Mobil CEO didn’t stop there.
“So often, the president would say, ‘Here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I want to do it,’ and I would have to say to him, ‘Mr. President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law,’” he said at a rare public appearance in Houston.
That less-than-stellar job review, first reported by the Houston Chronicle, would seem to build upon the reports that Tillerson once allegedly called Trump a “moron.”
It would also surely cement the duo’s icy relationship, one that started with great promise over the meeting of two famous business minds but ended with the president firing Tillerson by tweet as the secretary of state was waylaid by a stomach bug.
On Friday, following the reports of Tillerson’s remarks, it didn’t take long for the President to respond on Twitter:
Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him. His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
Tillerson, speaking at a fundraiser for the MD Anderson Cancer Center, said that Trump had a much different style than his own.
“He acts on his instincts and, in some respects, that looks like impulsiveness,” Tillerson told the moderator, CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, according to The Washington Post. “But it’s not his intent to act on impulse. I think he’s trying to act on his instincts.”
That approach was world’s away from Tillerson’s standard — the “disciplined, highly process-oriented Exxon Mobil corporation,” he said.
“I didn’t know how to conduct my affairs with him any other way than in a very straightforward fashion,” he said, according to Politico. “And I think he grew tired of me being the guy every day that told him ‘You can’t do that, and let’s talk about what we can do.’”
Tillerson also lamented the effectiveness of Trump’s bombastic Twitter account.
“I will be honest with you,” he said, according to the Chronicle. “It troubles me that the American people seem to want to know so little about issues, that they are satisfied with a 128 characters.”
It remains to be seen if Trump responds to Tillerson’s critique — on Twitter or otherwise.
The president didn’t hold back last year when the reports emerged that his secretary of state called him a “moron.” Even as he dismissed Tillerson’s alleged insult as “fake news,” he said at the time that if the diplomat “did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests.”
“I can tell you who is going to win,” Trump said then.
©2018 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Liberty Headlines editor Paul Chesser contributed.