ShareThis Page
Political Headlines

State Department: Tillerson resignation rumors 'false'

| Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 8:42 p.m.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaks to the media while meeting with Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Friday, July 21, 2017, at the State Department in Washington.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaks to the media while meeting with Oman's Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Friday, July 21, 2017, at the State Department in Washington.

Rex Tillerson has no plans to resign as secretary of State and is “just taking a little time off,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday amid reports Tillerson was considering stepping down.

CNN reported over the weekend that a potential “Rexit” at Foggy Bottom was brewing and that Tillerson might resign before the end of the year. The report pointed to the former ExxonMobil CEO's growing frustration with the administration, which was exacerbated by President Trump's public attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“The secretary has been very clear he intends to stay here at the State Department” Nauert told reporters when asked about the resignation rumors, according to The Hill. “We have a lot of work that is left to be done ahead of us. He recognizes that. He is deeply engaged in that work.”

Nauert said Tillerson is “just taking a little time off” after returning from a “mega trip” at the beginning of the month that included stops in Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

“He's entitled to take a few days himself,” Nauert said.

CNN said Tillerson told “friends outside of Washington” that he intended to remain at the State Department at least through the end of the year, but cited two anonymous sources who said they thought he might leave sooner than that.

Those sources also told CNN Tillerson “could have been venting after a tough week.”

Tillerson's senior aide RC Hammond denied the report in a Buzzfeed News story published Monday.

“As long as there are rogue regimes pursuing nuclear weapons or terrorists seeking safe haven, the secretary will remain on the job,” Hammond said.

There has been tension between Tillerson and the Trump administration over issues ranging from Iran policy to State Department personnel, according to several media reports. In June, the secretary of State unloaded on White House aide Johnny DeStefano over staffing issues.

“Well, it is a lot different than being CEO of Exxon because I was the ultimate decision maker,” Tillerson told Tillerson told The New York Times about his role as chief diplomat earlier this month. “That always makes life easier.”

Some reporters speculated that Trump's politicized address at the Boy Scout Jamboree could have further alienated Tillerson, a Distinguished Eagle Scout and former national president of the Boy Scouts of America.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me