The president, if he’s anything, is obsessed with his public image and the public image of his administration. Thus, he is no doubt not going to be fond of the fact that it’s now come out that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not be attending his Monday foreign policy speech that has been billed as monumental by the White House.
Trump’s Monday speech will be about his new national security strategy. In the days and hours before Trump’s speech, details about his strategy came out, including that it would not reference climate change as a “threat,” as the national security strategies developed by President Obama did. Although doing such completely ignores the very real threat that climate change poses to the world, it fits in with the moves already taken by the president during his time in office.
For instance, he has both announced an intent to withdraw the U.S. from the monumental Paris Climate Accord and has undone significant amounts of U.S. regulations meant to protect the environment.
He has done all of this because of his dedication to protecting the interests of American corporations above virtually all other interests. In his new national security strategy, Trump makes it clear that he has no intention to guide his administration into being more in alignment with our allies on important issues. Rather, he will keep promoting what he thinks is best, no matter the cost.
Any national security strategy needs a State Department that’s on board with the president for its effective implementation, but whether or not the president actually has his secretary of state on board with him remains to be seen.
Former oil executive and present Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not attending the president’s Monday speech, with a Trump Administration spokesperson stating that he had other plans.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported on Twitter:
‘The White House on why Tillerson won’t be at Trump’s speech today: “The Secretary had a previously scheduled event during this time. His deputy will be at the speech and the Secretary will be at the WH later today for meeting with the President.”‘
It’s understandable for some to be suspicious of Tillerson’s absence from Trump’s Monday speech.
Earlier in the fall, a report came out alleging that Tillerson had quipped that Trump was a “f*cking moron” following a particularly contentious cabinet meeting.
Tillerson explicitly denied part of that report — that he had threatened to resign — while repeatedly refusing to engage with the portion of the report that asserted he had called Trump a moron.
Trump responded to those reports by asserting that he would win a battle of I.Q. tests with Tillerson.
It’s not as though Trump really has shown any aptitude for dealing with issues of national security or foreign policy, whether Tillerson is on board with him or not.
For instance, he has helped grow the issue over North Korea’s potential nuclear attack capabilities through his incendiary rhetoric.
Trump’s new national security strategy is fundamentally more of the same from the president — a selection of items from past administrations that have worked bound together by his own isolationist pettiness.
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images