Tags: Donald Trump | North Korea | richard blumenthal | rex tillerson | donald trump | diplomacy

Blumenthal: Trump, Tillerson Relationship Could Hinder Talks

Blumenthal: Trump, Tillerson Relationship Could Hinder Talks
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Tom Williams/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 04 October 2017 03:09 PM

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's denied an NBC News report that he had at once considered stepping down, said Wednesday he's concerned that the relationship between Tillerson and President Donald Trump will hinder diplomatic efforts in North Korea and elsewhere.

"What concerns me is less the confidence and trust that the president and secretary of state have in each other than the confidence and trust we should have in the secretary of state's ability to conduct diplomacy," the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" program.

He said he was hopeful that with the beginning of talks with North Korea, that some of the "fury and fire" talk from Trump would be alleviated and maybe the United States could avoid a miscalculation that could draw it into war.

"Can Secretary of State Tillerson remain?" Blumenthal asked. "Not if the president continues to undercut his pursuing a rational and sensible policy, and these talks were at least the beginning of such a policy. And my hope is that they will not only reconcile with each other but pursue a policy that aims at stopping a nuclear farm in North Korea without the use of military force, which would be devastating."

Tillerson's statement, Blumenthal said, left "many of us wondering if he has the credibility of a serious person, which he is, if he's capable of peaceful negotiations with other nations, which he is. I hope to trust him like I do any other official, but it's a question mark."

The question mark is because Trump is undercutting Tillerson, Blumenthal said.

"That's what's so pernicious about the president's seemingly off-tweet remarks, without any apparent previous thought or analysis," the senator said.

It's also important that the secretary of state start filling the ranks of the Department of State, as those people are essential to the United States' diplomatic effectiveness.

"There are no responsible officials for many of the key policymaking and also representative posts in the Department of State," the senator said. "He cannot be effective and he cannot have the trust and confidence of the American people if he is operating alone without that support."

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal, after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's denied an NBC News report that he had at once considered stepping down, said Wednesday he's concerned that the relationship between Tillerson and President Donald Trump will hinder diplomatic efforts in North...
richard blumenthal, rex tillerson, donald trump, diplomacy
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2017-09-04
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 03:09 PM
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