Tillerson on Trump: “We did not have a common value system”

Rex Tillerson listens manfully as Trump rants to his cabinet about God knows what.Chris Kleponis/CNP via ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson talked to Bob Schieffer last night about his year working for Donald Trump. Unsurprisingly, he described Trump as:

pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just says this is what I believe, and you can try to convince me otherwise, but most of the time you’re not going to do that.

And then there was this:

We are starkly different in our styles, we did not have a common value system. When 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, it violates a treaty—he got really frustrated….I think he grew tired of me being the guy every day who told him he can’t do that, and let’s talk about what we can do.

Hmmm. “We did not have a common value system.” I assume that Tillerson thinks of himself as an honest person, which means he thinks of Trump as a liar and a crook. He’s just too polite to say so.

There’s nothing new here, I suppose. We’ve known all this for a long time. Still, it’s useful to hear it on the record from a high-ranking cabinet member who saw Trump in action.

BY THE WAY: Tillerson, who has worked with Vladimir Putin both at ExxonMobil and as Secretary of State, says Putin is a lot smarter than Trump. “Many people talk about playing chess. He plays three-dimensional chess,” Tillerson said.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate