Hours after it was announced that President Donald Trump had fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and will replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Tillerson delivered an emotional statement in which he thanked those he worked with and expressed how proud he was to serve in the position. Tillerson also noted that while his last official day in State will be March 31, he will delegate his duties at the end of Tuesday to Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan.
And he took a bunch of not-so-veiled shots at the person who canned him — something that was not lost on the political media.
Striking to hear Tillerson thank career diplomats and the American people, but not Trump, and make a parting statement on Russian aggression.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) March 13, 2018
In 8 minutes, Tillerson took a million subliminal shots at Trump, from his emphasis on traditional allies to treating “each other with honesty & integrity” to not even pretending to thank Trump for making him secretary.
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) March 13, 2018
At the very beginning of his eight-minute speech, Tillerson said that he “received a call from the President of the United States a little after noontime.” Earlier in the day, a since-fired State Department employee stated that Tillerson had not personally heard from the president about his firing and that Tillerson had only found out he was gone via Trump’s morning tweet.
Tillerson also likely took a jab at Trump by praising his State personnel for recently addressing “challenges of sexual harassment within the department.” Of course, Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was marred by accusations that he sexually harassed and assaulted numerous women.
Additional shots could be seen when Tillerson called diplomats “selfless leaders” who are needed when it comes to working with the United States’ allies while stating “nothing is possible without allies and partners.” And, of course, there was a Russian reference:
“And much work remains to respond to the troubling behavior and actions on the part of the Russian government. Russia must assess calmly as to how its actions are in the best interests of the Russian people and of the world more broadly. Continuing on their current trajectory is likely to lead to greater isolation on their part. A situation which is not in anyone’s interests.”
What was most perhaps most obvious to everyone watching was the fact that at no point during the entire address was there even a moment of gratitude towards Trump. Not a single “thank you” or “I enjoyed working with you” or anything. Just a full-on snub when it came to saying thanks for the opportunity to the president.
Watch the clip above, via Fox Business.
[image via screengrab]