Rex Tillerson had an under-the-radar sit-down with leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee about his time as secretary of state in the Trump administration, The Daily Beast reported.
According to the news outlet, an unnamed committee aide said Tillerson reached out and expressed a willingness to meet. And on Tuesday, he sat down for a more than six-hour meeting that was handled with "extreme secrecy."
The news outlet reported Tillerson met with House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
According to The Daily Beast, Tillerson told members and staffers the Trump administration actively avoided confronting Russia about allegations of interference in the election in an effort to develop a solid relationship with the Kremlin.
Tillerson also told members and aides he had tried to establish a formal and disciplined interagency process at the State Department so the president could get informed briefings on sensitive foreign policy matters, the aide told The Daily Beast.
But the effort never materialized in part because of the president's management style — and also because of interference from other aides.
And he also told the committee the president's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, at times impeded his ability to communicate effectively and introduce to President Donald Trump policy proposals developed by State Department experts on major foreign affairs matters across the globe, not just in the Middle East.
Kushner, a White House adviser, has publicly focused much of his international efforts on the Middle East.
Tillerson was fired in March 2018 and replaced by the current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
CNN reported it had confirmed the meeting with the committee.
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