Tags: Donald Trump | North Korea | Trump Administration | diplomacy | rex tillerson | secretary of state | nuclear weapons

WashPost: Tillerson 'Irrelevant,' Some Diplomats Say

Image: WashPost: Tillerson 'Irrelevant,' Some Diplomats Say
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Susan Walsh/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 14 December 2017 10:56 PM

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's continued insistence North Korea can be dealt with via diplomacy instead of force is widening the rift between himself and President Donald Trump, a new report claims.

The Washington Post spoke with people in the West Wing, who said Tillerson is not taking a stance that is in line with Trump.

Tillerson "had not learned his lesson from the last time," a White House official told the Post, referencing another time when Trump called out his top diplomat for insisting diplomacy with North Korea, which is building a nuclear weapon, can work.

Another official told the Post foreign diplomats often ask about Tillerson's status in the administration and how long he will stay in his job. Some, the official said, even call him "irrelevant."

That same official noted there are ongoing conversations within the White House regarding who will replace Tillerson — who might leave soon, if recent reports are true.

Publicly, Trump and Tillerson have not hinted changes are forthcoming. But this week, for example, Tillerson spoke about wanting to sit down with the North Koreans. The White House went into overdrive after that, with press secretary Sarah Sanders even releasing a statement that said North Korea is acting aggressively.

Trump has vowed to "totally destroy" North Korea if it attacks the U.S. or its allies. And, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., there is a 70 percent chance Trump would order the U.S. military to attack North Korea if it conducts another nuclear test.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's recent clashes with President Donald Trump on whether to move forward with diplomacy or military threats to use force against North Korea's rogue nuclear weapons program has rendered him 'irrelevant,' according to some diplomats.
diplomacy, rex tillerson, secretary of state, nuclear weapons
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Thursday, 14 December 2017 10:56 PM
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