Free Minds & Free Markets

Rex Tillerson’s Tenure as Secretary of State Was No Success—but What Comes Next Will Probably Be Worse: New at Reason

Tillerson was one of the administration’s more reasonable voices.

Xinhua/Sipa USA/NewscomXinhua/Sipa USA/NewscomNothing about Rex Tillerson's firing should surprise us, except perhaps its timing.

Tillerson has often been at odds with his boss in the White House, whether on Russia, Iran, or North Korea. Though widely hailed as one of the "adults in the room," it's not clear he had much influence at all on Trump's biggest foreign policy decisions.

He was widely disliked inside his own agency. Civil servants at Foggy Bottom hated his insularity and his plans to massively cut the State Department's budget and diplomatic capacity.

Even the casual cruelty of the firing should not surprise us. Sure, the President fired his Secretary of State via Twitter, while Tillerson was abroad, without apparently offering him any explanation or courtesy phone call. But from the man who fired James Comey, his FBI Director, via television while Comey was on-stage giving a public speech, this was almost polite, writes Emma Ashford of the Cato Institute.

Photo Credit: Xinhua/Sipa USA/Newscom


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