It would be easy to see Trump’s firing of Sec. of State Tillerson as Trump unraveling, but when one examines the moves that he is making, Trump is clearing out dissent and strengthening his hold on power.
Consider how the Tillerson firing went down:
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) March 13, 2018
The Trump tweet:
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
This isn’t about Trump falling apart. Trump is removing anyone who disagrees with him and replacing them with lackeys who will let him impulsively do whatever he wants.
According to quotes provided to PoliticusUSA by the White House Press Pool, this was Trump’s answer when he was asked if he consulted Tillerson on the N. Korea decision, “No, I really didn’t discuss it very much with him, honestly. I made that decision by myself. Rex wasn’t, as you know, in this country. I made the North Korea decision with consultation from many people but I made that decision by myself. I actually got along well with Rex but really it was a different mindset, a different thinking.”
It is a common move for presidents who are failing domestically to turn their attention to foreign policy, but Trump is taking it a step beyond. This president sees foreign policy as an unobstructed playground for his impulsive actions. Trump wants a one-man government, where he is calling all of the shots by the seat of his pants. Getting rid of Rex Tillerson means that Trump can go to N. Korea and also trash the Iran deal.
As the Russia investigation closes in on him, Trump isn’t falling apart. He is consolidating his areas of power and fighting to hold on.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association