Tags: rex tillerson | senior aides | secretary of state | tillerson

Politico: Tillerson's Reliance on Two Senior Aides Hindering Him

Politico: Tillerson's Reliance on Two Senior Aides Hindering Him

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By    |   Sunday, 04 June 2017 08:28 PM

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson since his appointment has leaned heavily on two senior aides who have cut him off from the remainder of his 75,000-person staff, Politico reports.

Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO, has mostly relied on his chief of staff Margaret Peterlin and policy chief Brian Hook for advice, sources told Politico, a move that has alienated Tillerson from some people "who could help him succeed."

Just last month, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice couldn'’t get a direct line to Tillerson. Instead, Peterlin called her back and asked her what she wanted to discuss. 

"Tillerson seems to have a lot of confidence in her and her judgment," said Brian Gunderson, who served as chief of staff to Rice.

One administration official described Peterlin, 46, as a tireless worker.

"Even if you don't like her, you have to say she’s always in the office, even on the weekends."

Hook, 48, is responsible for helping coordinate the administration’s policy in dozens of nations.

The two have grown so close to Tillerson they recently joined him on his trip to Trump’s meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

But, officials say, they are trying to do too much on their own which has led to important business being pushed back. Senior-level posts, for example, have not been filled, and career civil servants are doing the jobs until replacements are nominated.  

L. Paul Bremer, who served as chief of staff to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, told Politico that Tillerson is still getting the hang of things.

"Since he doesn't come with the kind of background [of George] Shultz or Condi Rice or Colin Powell or Warren Christopher, he is particularly in need of being sure he can mobilize the expertise that is in the State Department.”

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson since his appointment has leaned heavily on two senior aides who have cut him off from the remainder of his 75,000-person staff, Politico reports.
rex tillerson, senior aides, secretary of state, tillerson
296
2017-28-04
Sunday, 04 June 2017 08:28 PM
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