Tillerson Out? “Frustrated” Trump “Fed Up” With Secretary Of State: Axios

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

After North Korea launched three more short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea early on Saturday morning, local time, political observers were eagerly looking forward to Trump’s response, especially since the president had managed to get boxed in by Kim Jong Un: on one hand, do nothing and be mocked and ridiculed not only by the North Korean press, but by the rest of the developed world, whose view of Trump’s diplomatic skills could hardly be any worse; or on the other hand, launch a military campaign, either surgical or broad, and risk a retaliation against South Korea and millions of US allies dying.

In the end the US appears to have chosen the former and on Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the firing of three ballistic missiles by North Korea this week was a provocative act but that the United States will continue to seek a peaceful resolution. The de-escalating tone took place just days after Tillerson credited the North with showing some restraint by not launching a missile since the ICBM test in July, and he had expressed hope that the easing of tension could lead to dialogue. That was not meant to be, although in it appears that what happened next is North Korea called the US bluff, and the US folded. 

“We do view it as a provocative act against the United States and our allies,” Tillerson said in an interview on Fox News Sunday. “We’re going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign as I have described it, working with allies, working with China as well to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table.”

As the NYT also reported, North Korea used multiple-rocket launchers off its east coast on Saturday to fire three short-range missiles that could strike United States military bases deep in South Korea, officials in Seoul said. The launches were the North’s first rocket tests since two intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, were fired last month.

By resuming the tests, North Korea defied repeated urgings from the United States and South Korea to stop weapons trials and other provocations to pave the way for dialogue. The United States Pacific Command said that one of the three ballistic missiles had blown up immediately after blastoff, but that two others had traveled about 155 miles before splashing down. That would be far enough to reach major South Korean and American military bases, including those near the city of Pyeongtaek, about 60 miles south of Seoul. The range would also be sufficient to reach Seongju, a South Korean town where the United States has begun installing an advanced missile-defense system known as Thaad.

Kim Dong-yub, a defense analyst at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University in Seoul, said the tests on Saturday appeared to be aimed at expanding the strike range.

Nevertheless, the nature of the tests prompted some relief in the region.

The missiles flew to the northeast, not toward Guam, home to major United States Air Force and Navy bases. North Korea threatened to launch ballistic missiles in a “ring of fire” around Guam after President Trump threatened to hit the North with “fire and fury” if it persisted with its development of ICBMs.

Surprisingly, South Korea did not issue its usual condemnatory statement against the tests. In Tokyo, the chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said the missiles did not fall in Japanese waters or pose a threat to his nation’s safety. White House officials said that Mr. Trump had been briefed on the tests but did not immediately have any further comment.

And while North Korea was certainly on Tillerson’s agenda, what the media was focused on was Tillerson’s reported distancing from Trump’s remarks after the deadly Virginia protests, saying the president “speaks for himself.” Tillerson’s comment on “Fox News Sunday” follows Gary Cohn, the president’s chief economic adviser and the director of the National Economic Council, saying in a Financial Times interview published last week that the administration “can and must do better” in condemning hate groups.

In the exchange below, Chris Wallace asked Tillerson about Trump’s response to the racist carnage in Charlottesville. Tillerson replied: “I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government, or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.”

Wallace asked the obvious follow-up question: “And the president’s values?”

“The president speaks for himself,” Tillerson said, leaving Wallace with a surprised look on his face.

So, in response moments ago Axios reported that Tillerson appears to be the next top administration in Trump’s proverbial board room, who may soon here the trademarked Trump phrase: “You’re Fired!” According to Axios, “there’s a ticking problem with Rex Tillerson, and it’s growing louder by the day, citing officials inside and close to the White House.”

President Trump has been growing increasingly frustrated with his Secretary of State. One time recently, after Trump had returned from a meeting on Afghanistan, a source recalled Trump saying, “Rex just doesn’t get it, he’s totally establishment in his thinking.”

As Axios adds, “Trump is getting more and more fed up with Tillerson, who has still yet to staff his agency.”

So is Tillerson the next top administration official to get kicked out by Trump? Unfortunately, the firings at the White House have been so fast and furious in recent weeks, the online political prediction marketplace PredictIt.com hasn’t had the time to put together a contract tracking the odds of Tillerson’s imminent survival, or lack thereof.

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  • Barba_Papa

    I do wonder why every Nork missile test is considered such an affront to international world peace. A nuclear test, yeah, perhaps, those seem to be pretty much shunned as bad for the environment, but a missile test? All the other countries with missile technology do those as well, why is it such drama and cause for imminent war each time the Norks do one?

    • YuiYui

      Because USA seeks to convince its own population that a war with NK is unavoidable, so that they can go in and try another regime change. Of course, if NK had reliable nukes, such an option would be off the table forever, which does not sit well with US imperialist ambitions.

    • hhabana

      Agree with you on missile tests. Big deal.

      The interesting thing for me is how these despicable cowards are not supporting Trump. Many in the public support his statement of bad people on both sides, full of hate, and looking to create a disturbance. This is common sense. The liberal and anti-Trump establishment cannot, and will not, bring any attention on Antifa. Thus, allying with these criminals. Tillerson should be fired and replaced with someone who not afraid to speak the truth.

      • YuiYui

        Enlighten me as to why one should support Trump. His entire foreign policy is the exact opposite of what he promised in the election campaign, and just a continuation of neocon policies. Hell, he’s more interventionist that Obama was! Or how about his promises to drain the swamp, yet surrounding himself with yet more neocons? I was one of the people cheering for Trump the most during the election, but since then all he did was fuck me in the ass!

        • heydad

          While I hate this type of no argument, he is still better than killary.
          He does the bidding of Neocons, but is still proven to be a thorn that is impeding the development of their agenda so he is still the best option as of now. The other option I would be for would be to hold off elections for a while and see the government stress under no leader to blame everything on. Then the people can see the real issues reside in the long standing seats in congress and the house where we can begin the cleansing. (in a non-violent way, such as removal from office and tried for corruption) Everyone in a major federal seat needs to be up for critical review.

        • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

          Trump foreign policy is the exact same as Obama’s and Bush’s , yet we have a total disconnect with some who call it Trump’s policy and not that of the Neo-Con Congress which it actually is. The US has always had one party just the public is too dense to realize this, the public is the problem since they are so easily led to do the bidding of these Neo-Cons in Dems clothing.

          The world is getting tired of the US rhetoric and may soon break with the US and ignore them on all their whining and bullying.

          • RichardD

            Of course it’s the ziocons. Everybody paying attention could see it in the primaries before Trump even won the election. And when he started implementing America First Sessions threw him under the bus, Jew Rosenstein hired witch hunter Mueller and Jew Sherman filed impeachment articles. That’s how Jew pedophile rape cultists work and why they’re so disliked by so many and need to be gotten out of government, finance, media and academia where they do so much harm to America.

        • RichardD

          He’s implemented as much of America First as he can without getting impeached. He has to fight that off to move ahead with a legislature that voted 500 to 3 to cheat the American people and serve Israel.

  • The president does NOT speak for himself – he speaks for the country!

    • BL

      Must be a shitty country then

      • And how!

        • RichardD

          Much of it thanks to Jew pedophile rape cultists.

          • The Americans do what the Americans do.
            The Israelis do what the Israelis do.
            Every religious cult has it’s oddities and decrying just one strikes me as daft.

          • RichardD

            America would be a much different place without Jew corruption. And outlawing their evil cult solves a lot of problems. I’m into solutions.

          • America would be a much better place with a bit more education, a lot less “exceptionalism, some morals, some ethics and a conscience.
            And if they got rid of that ridiculous American arrogance.

            They do what they do – the Jews didn’t make them do it.

          • RichardD

            I’ve lived here all of my life and I don’t agree. Americans aren’t blameless, I never said that they were. What I said is that “America would be a much different (and better) place without Jew corruption.”

            We’ve been force fed a cornucopia of Jew lies from cradle to grave. What’s different now is that the truth about Jew lies is much more accessible with the internet and English language foreign press being available that wasn’t before when the Jews had a mass media stranglehold, and is resulting in a sea change of public opinion against the Jew world order cretins and all of their evil. Which is why Trump and America First beat Clinton.

  • RichardD

    ““Rex just doesn’t get it, he’s totally establishment in his thinking.””

    When I think of the establishment, the Jew pedophile rape cult swamp slave Ziocons come to mind. And Rex Tillerson is one of the few senior statesmen with the courage to say the exact opposite of the Ziocon party line on several occasions.

  • Carol Davidek-Waller

    Not a Trump fan but let’s face facts. Trump will be mocked and ridiculed no matter what he does. There is no military solution to this made in USA drama. The U.S. has actively prevented the reunification of Korea after its failed CIA Korean War and threatened North Korea (axis of evil?) NK has taken note that the U.S. does not attack small independent nation’s that possess atomic weapons.
    If Trump had not let himself be pulled off course (no more foreign interventions) he might still be criticized but at least he’d have a successful strategy.

    • RichardD

      Trump is in a bear pit filled with criminally insane ziocons who have a lot of media, political, financial and academic control. When you jump into a pigsty to mud wrestle swine, you’re going to get dirty, that’s what Trump is dealing with.