The Trump slide continues

Donald Trump has fired his secretary of state Rex Tillerson. The turmoil in this administration has become so routine that when I heard the news this morning, my only sense of surprise was that he was the person who was fired since the on-going speculation had pointed to other figures as being the next to go. What is noteworthy, though not surprising, is how ungracious Trump was in taking this action. Rather than telling him personally, Tillerson apparently first heard of it when Trump tweeted the news out to the world.

Donald Trump has fired his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and announced his intention to replace him with the CIA director, Mike Pompeo.

Trump announced the shake-up in a tweet, adding that Gina Haspel, Pompeo’s deputy, would become the CIA’s first female director.

Tillerson’s departure had long been predicted after a series of clashes over policy. But the announcement, made just four hours after the secretary of state landed in Washington after a tour of Africa, took Tillerson unawares.

Under-secretary of state Steve Goldstein said: “The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling.”

Tillerson’s dismissal was immediate. State officials said they did not know if he would clear his office or if he would send someone to do it for him. Officials said Tillerson had shown every intention of staying and had a full programme of commitments. Tillerson had recently predicted he would stay in office for all of 2018 at least.

Although Tillerson was not great at his job, the new replacements, if you can imagine it, are even worse. Pompeo is a right-wing extremist and Haspel was a key and enthusiastic figure in implementing illegal ghastly torture practices on detainees (see also here).

And to add to the chaos, under secretary of state Steve Goldstein who was quoted in the above piece was also fired today for contradicting the White House account of Rex Tillerson’s dismissal. Is there anybody left at the state department to turn off the lights at night?

Meanwhile, lost in the turmoil, was that Trump’s long time close personal assistant John McEntee was also summarily fired today and escorted out of the premises.

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal aide John McEntee was fired because he is currently under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes, a source familiar with his firing told CNN.

The charges are not related to the President, the source said.

Given the deep corruption of this administration and Trump’s family. McEntee’s firing must have been pushed by people other than Trump because he has been immediately hired by Trump’s re-election campaign.

So the Trump administration continues its downward slide into the bottomless pit of corruption and ineptitude.


  1. DonDueed says

    I sincerely hope that no one “turns out the lights at night” at the State Department. If so, they’d have a hard time following events in at least half the world. They still do that, right?

  2. jrkrideau says

    @ 3 DonDueed
    they’d have a hard time following events in at least half the world. They still do that, right?
    Well yes, but the night monitoring watch consists of one foreign service officer equipped with a cell phone and a cot to nap on. After Cadet Bone Spurs and Tillerson got finished gutting the Department that was all the staff left.

    I really have never bought into the Putin–Trump crap which I tend to see as your common or garden US paranoia.
    I am more than ready to believe Trump is guilty of money laundering for any one from any of the former Soviet republics and probably should be in jail. The Kremlin must be extremely worried to see an incompetent but sane Secretary of State being replaced by whats sound like another complete nutter, making an unstable situation look even more unstable.

  3. jrkrideau says

    @ 5 Marcus
    The guy is a New York real estate developer.
    Oh lord, I thought he was from Kansas. Things are just getting better.

    I am reassured that a former concentration torture camp director is taking over the CIA. I am sure she will do an exemplary and highly ethical job. Jesus wept.

    I had a beer this afternoon with a friend who teaches the history of the Holocaust and he did not like what he was seeing down south.

  4. jrkrideau says

    @ Marcus
    Wait, I think I misread your post @ 5. The ” New York real estate developer” is Trump not the new Sec of State?

    This does not make things better,

  5. says

    By the way, I have a theory that Tim Allen (yes, the comedian and actor) will be the first Secretary of the Space Force because he voiced Buzz Lightyear and has been whining that his show was cancelled by ABC because he’s a conservative.

  6. says

    I can’t remember who I saw Tweet this — it may have been Matthew Yglasias — but the suggestion was that Tillerson’s firing is not necessarily a sign of an administration in turmoil. Rather, they see it as Trump being more confident that he can appoint the people that he truly wants rather than people that were suggested for these jobs. I do seem to recall suggestions that Tillerson was not Trump’s choice for the job. But perhaps I’m getting people in the administration confused.

  7. lanir says

    Tillerson was kind of scary as secretary of state because he seemed to be a competent looter and plunderer. Trump is a singularly incompetent manager, however. So in a way this doesn’t really surprise me. The two of them were both all in on the looting but there’s a certain level of incompetence in a boss that makes it hard for anyone to keep working for them. If their attention is on you for any length of time you’re guaranteed to leave or be fired if you have any idea what you’re doing. I think Trump sprinted across that line long ago.

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