“Rex Tillerson, a man who is ‘dumb as a rock’ and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State, made up a story (he got fired) that I was out-prepared by Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany. I don’t think Putin would agree. Look how the U.S. is doing!”
Well, Tillerson reportedly told congressional leaders that Trump was not as well-prepared for his 2017 meeting with Vladimir Putin as the Russian president was — and that it showed.
“Over the past several days, Trump has been presented with a large binder of preparation materials for his trip to Europe — but the section on his meeting with Putin amounts to only a ‘few pages’ of paper, according to one White House official. A second official said each talking point is only a sentence or two long to keep Trump focused during his meeting.”
“They blamed his overstuffed schedule, including a last-minute rally in Virginia that was added days before the debate. They blamed the large number of voluble people on his prep team, including two retired military figures with no political background. And they blamed the lack of time spent on preparing a game plan in the first place…
…Mr. Trump’s debate preparation was unconventional. Aides have introduced a lectern and encouraged him to participate in mock debates, but he has not embraced them, focusing mostly on conversations and discussions with advisers.”
All of which suggests Tillerson is telling the truth. Which you probably knew anyway.
What’s truly telling about all of this is that Trump seems to have no awareness or concern that he is now bashing a man he once touted as a brilliantly out-of-the-box pick to serve as the nation’s chief diplomat.
We know that Trump picked Tillerson for two basic reasons: 1) He was a businessman and 2) Trump believed he looked the part.
There were doubts voiced from the second Trump named Tillerson that the Exxon chief might not have the requisite experience — he had never served in government before — to do the job. Trump ignored those voices because Tillerson fit his idea of what a secretary of state should look like.
And then Tillerson turned out to be something different than Trump thought he was getting. As a former head of a massive international company, Tillerson wanted a level of independence and freedom to do the job that Trump clearly wouldn’t give him.
Why? Because this is what Trump does. He refuses to ever admit mistakes. He never apologizes. He simply pretends as though whatever he said the day before — or the month before or the year before — about someone never happened. Every day is tabula rasa for this President; he starts with a blank blackboard on which to write — or, more accurately, tweet.
Which is how Trump can say that a man he touted as having a “deep understanding of geopolitics” is the same man he can say is “dumb as a rock” and “ill-prepared” to do the job to which he was nominated.
Of course, the person who did the nominating was Donald Trump. Which tells you all you need to know about his judgment.