In the middle of the currently unfolding scandal regarding Russia’s largely successful efforts to sway the 2016 presidential election, there’s something else that might fly under the radar but which you should definitely take note of.
Ian Bremmer, the President of Eurasia Group, which is one of the world’s largest political consulting firms, has posted on Twitter that he heard from a Defense Minister of a U.S. ally that both U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have been left out in the cold by the Trump administration.
The language that this Defense Minister used is horrifying.
Bremmer says: “Heard from Defense Min of a US ally: Mattis & Tillerson said they make relevant policy decisions & ignore Trump because he’s not in charge.”
Heard from Defense Min of a US ally: Mattis & Tillerson said they make relevant policy decisions & ignore Trump because he’s not in charge.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) June 15, 2017
The Defense Minister who spoke to Bremmer remains unnamed.
These comments certainly fit with what is already publicly known about the inner workings of the Trump Administration. For instance, Trump has shifted much of the ultimate control over the specifics of U.S. military engagements overseas onto the Defense Department.
In the case of the State Department, Trump has long shifted much of the diplomatic responsibilities associated with the Executive Branch onto his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and, quite frankly, Kushner has no idea what he’s doing.
Kushner is so inept that he has allegedly given foreign officials serious pause in his interactions with them. The instances where this has happened include pre-inauguration contacts with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak.
As for Trump, he himself certainly doesn’t know much of anything about foreign policy or the operations of the U.S. military. For instance, earlier in the year, it was reported that he had to ask an aide what the New START Treaty was, even though that treaty is literally the on paper reason for why the world hasn’t been destroyed by nuclear weapons.
What Trump does know about foreign policy, he refuses to abide by or respect. For instance, while in Europe recently, Trump refused to affirm his commitment to Article 5 of the NATO Charter which states, in short, that an attack on one member of the alliance is an attack on every member of the alliance.
In short, it’s no wonder that Tillerson and Mattis have been left out in the cold. At least one of the men — Mattis — has a long history in his field, so at least he knows what he’s doing. Tillerson has long interacted with foreign governments in his capacity as head of Exxon, so he (might) know what he’s doing.
Featured Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images