Tags: Newt Gingrich | rex tillerson | donald trump | relationship | white house | newt gingrich

Gingrich: Trump, Tillerson Tensions Were Always Going to Be Difficult

(Fox News)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2017 12:21 PM

Tensions were always going to be difficult between President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday, but he does believe Tillerson and other key White House figures will end up staying in office.

"Tillerson led one of the largest corporations in the world," Gingrich told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" anchor Bill Hemmer, while responding to statements made by Trump in an extensive Forbes interview. "He was at the center of power. He made all the decisions and then he is a brilliant guy. Did a great job. Now he is essentially staff. It's an enormous jump."

In the interview, Trump told Forbes that he still believes an NBC story claiming Tillerson called his boss a "moron" is "fake news."

However, Trump told Forbes that if Tillerson called him that, "I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests, and I can tell you who is going to win," but Gingrich said he believes "that was a joke."

Tillerson, though, is a "very sophisticated guy" who has a different approach than Trump did, Gingrich said, and that has made the transition a tough one.

"All these guys go through the same experience, because in the end, power in America at the executive branch level is the president," he said. "Not anybody else. The president can delegate that power any way he wants to."

Gingrich said he thinks there is most likely "healthy tension" between Trump and Tillerson, "but my sense is that Rex is going to stay."

He also said he thinks Secretary of Defense James Mattis will remain, and that he believes every morning Chief of Staff John Kelly wakes up "it's good for America that he is there. I think he will stay and he has probably the hardest job in Washington right now," as Trump is the "most disruptive president since Andrew Jackson."

Also on Tuesday, Gingrich said it is vital for Republicans to push through tax reform legislation if they expect to win next fall's elections, and the matter is "much, much more important" than healthcare.

The legislation must also be passed by Thanksgiving, Gingrich pointed out, as "they have to have so much economic growth in the first two quarters of next year that they can run as the party of jobs and take home pay and prosperity, because that's what they need to win the election next fall."

However, he said he does not know if the president and Congress will be able to work together to get the legislation through.

"I don't think we'll know until it gets done," Gingrich said. "I think that this is a period, frankly, for them to get beyond tweeting and attacking each other and trying to pressure each other and to spend time listening to each other."

Gingrich said when he was in office, he had a "standard rule" he used while negotiating.

"Tell me what you have to have and tell me what you can't have, and then I'll tell you what I have to have and what I can't have," Gingrich said. "Somewhere in that middle there is a box called legislation. But that requires listening to each other, not yelling at each other."

Gingrich also discussed a tweet by President Donald Trump, in which he claimed Democrats don't want secure borders or safety for the United States.

"Democrats have a huge problem because if the issue is national security, whether it is heroin coming across the border, fentanyl coming across the border, nuclear weapons coming across the border, terrorists coming across the border, it's very hard to go to the country and say I want to be the party of weakness," Gingrich said.

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Tensions were always going to be difficult between President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday, but he does believe Tillerson and other key White House figures will end up staying in office.
rex tillerson, donald trump, relationship, white house, newt gingrich
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2017-21-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 12:21 PM
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