Trump and Tiller­son ex­change barbs

Khaleej Times - - FRONT PAGE -

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

Rex Tiller­son, US former sec­re­tary of state

washington — Former US sec­re­tary of state Rex Tiller­son said Don­ald Trump was “undis­ci­plined” and re­peat­edly wanted to break the law — lead­ing the US pres­i­dent to re­spond on Fri­day that his one­time cab­i­net mem­ber was “dumb as a rock.”

Tiller­son, who was fired in March, made no at­tempt to deny his poor re­la­tion­ship with Trump dur­ing a rare in­ter­view on Thurs­day night as part of a char­ity din­ner in his na­tive Texas.

“I think part of it was ob­vi­ously we are starkly dif­fer­ent in our styles. We did not have a com­mon value sys­tem,” Tiller­son told vet­eran jour­nal­ist Bob Schi­ef­fer of CBS News, which broad­cast an ex­cerpt of the in­ter­view.

“I’d have to say to him, ‘Well, Mr Pres­i­dent, I un­der­stand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way — it vi­o­lates the law, it vi­o­lates a treaty.’”

“He got re­ally frus­trated,” he said. “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.” Trump voiced anger hours later in a harsh tweet, say­ing that Tiller­son “didn’t have the men­tal ca­pac­ity needed” to be the top US diplo­mat.

“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!” Trump wrote from Air Force One as he re­turned from a con­fer­ence in Kansas City about crime.

Trump praised Tiller­son’s suc­ces­sor, the brusque former con­gress­man and CIA chief Mike Pom­peo, for “do­ing a great job.”

He be­comes the lat­est cab­i­net mem­ber on which Trump has turned his knives. —

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