Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State, testified before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee that President Trump was “out-prepared” by the Russian President Vladimir Putin while they held their first meeting in Germany.
He said this “put a U.S. leader at a disadvantage.”
A house committee aide stated, “We spent a lot of time in the conversation talking about how Putin seized every opportunity to push what he wanted. There was a discrepancy in preparation, and it created an unequal footing.”
Tillerson testified for a closed meeting for seven hours with the committee concerning his remarks and what he knew of the meeting between President Trump and President Putin.
Since March 2018, Tillerson has publicly attacked President Trump due to him getting fired which was covered in drama.
The president countered those remarks with his statement, “I was perfectly prepared for my meetings with Vladimir Putin. We did very well at those meetings.”
The committee pounded question after question about the 2017 meeting between the two presidents in Hamburg since Tillerson was at the meeting.
The committee felt he had insight into the interaction between the two leaders.
Experts claimed the lack of preparation was not surprising, but it was taking a risk with Putin’s experience.
A Russian scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Andrew Weiss, stated, “Putin is a very nimble adversary who’s been at this for 20 years now. The Hamburg meeting sounds like it was one of Putin’s wildest dreams: a freewheeling backroom-style conversation with a U.S. president.”
Some recall Trump’s statement when he met with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader last year, “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude, it’s about willingness to get things done. So this isn’t a question of preparation, it’s a question of whether or not people want it to happen, and we’ll know that very quickly.”
They all were quick to judge, but the fact is, no other president did this with North Korea before. President Trump accomplished what no one else could do.
Tillerson stated he felt there could have been more the United States should have done to counter Russia.
A Republican committee aide was asked about Tillerson’s remarks, and he told the reporter, “We believe Tillerson’s testimony best speaks for itself, and are hopeful that our Democrat Chairman will release the full transcript of the meeting to the public soon.”
Unlike public appearances, aides stated Tillerson held back from certain comments and was unable to answer some of the questions of value which was revealing his character.
He contradicted with an agreement he and the president shared, “We shared a common goal: to secure and advance America’s place in the world and to promote and protect American values. Those American values — freedom, democracy, individual liberty, and human dignity — are the North Star that guided every action I took at the State Department.”
Tillerson made it clear they may share the same goal but not the same “value system.”
The committee asked him to explain the values Trump has.
Tillerson stated, “I cannot.”
A committee aide added, “Just as a matter of fact, he stated that he couldn’t or wouldn’t unpack the president’s values for us.”
President Trump added more comments and tweets recently about his new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, “He is doing a great job, and he agrees with my values. Such a positive difference.”
There were issues Tillerson could not figure out in times it came down to coordinating with the State Department.
This caused the dispute between the two men and ultimately led to Trump firing Tillerson and replacing him with Pompeo.
Trump responded recently in his final tweet about Tillerson, stating he was “as dumb as a rock and lazy as hell.”
Many of the original cabinet members which came in with President Trump’s administration has since been terminated or demoted.
It is clear the president is no politician.
Business has no friends and sometimes, some of those who have been terminated tend to hold grudges.
One can hope the committee can see the refrain of some of those questions being answered that Tillerson is not the best witness due to his termination.
He has proven this publicly through his verbal attacks while he was Secretary of State, after he was fired, and even now.
One can only hope in true “justice for all,” even if it is the President of the United States.