Between I.Q. tests, being called a “moron,” and everything in-between, the narrative between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Trump has grown extremely tense over the past few weeks. This in itself has had a massive effect on diplomatic legislation, and has been widely overlooked.
This all started following Trump’s decision to force any dialogue between Tillerson and North Korea to end. Tillerson had a direct channel to North Korean officials and was in the process of pushing diplomacy. This was a massively important decision as nuclear tensions will continue to grow between the two countries without any communication or sign of ending hostility through legislation. Tillerson’s work was essentially for nothing.
And Trump undermining Tillerson continued after this. As hostility and pressure now grows regarding the Iranian Nuclear Deal, Trump again ignored Tillerson. Tillerson said that Iran was complying, which also means there was no parallel program with North Korea. However, Trump was contingent upon believing otherwise, stating that he believes Iran was in violation and has now left the deal in the hands of congress with the possibility of repealing the deal completely still being on the table.
This is an example of two potential lethal situations for the U.S. on the global stage. Twice, Trump has defied Tillerson both in diplomatic talks and in his beliefs of international relations. Tillerson has strived for diplomacy between America and its foes, yet Trump seems to believe in the exact opposite. At the end of the day, the rumors about being called a moron don’t matter. But what does matter is that Trump clearly doesn’t trust or doesn’t want to believe in his Secretary of State. And if congress isn’t able to appease Trump’s needs in amending the Iranian Nuclear Deal, tensions between the U.S. and its foes may continue to rise to nuclear levels.
Maybe this will be the end for Tillerson just as many others have already experienced within his administration. But what is important about this situation is understanding whether Trump’s defiance of Tillerson’s strategy will end up hurting the United States going forward. Diplomacy is becoming less and less likely under the Trump administration as time passes. We can only now wonder if it is already too late.
Photo via Reuters – PBS