Those two words are coming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s way in the near future, according to leaked news reports citing White House insiders that the former Exxon CEO is on his way out.
And despite subsequent official denials, it’s time for Tillerson to exit the stage.
It’s no secret his brief tenure within the Trump administration leading the U.S. State Department is not working out. Trump and Tillerson have butted heads on major national security issues from the volatile North Korea nuclear threat to the controversial Iran nuclear deal. Not to mention the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, among other foreign policy matters. For Beltway insiders, it’s no secret Tillerson has been out of favor with the president for some time now — and sidelined for months, according to reports.
Not only did Trump undercut Tillerson publicly on Twitter in recent weeks, telling his secretary of state he’s wasting his time trying to engage in talks with “Rocket Man” Kim Jong Un, but just yesterday, when asked by the press if Tillerson will be replaced, the president would only say, “Rex is here.”
Not exactly a vote of confidence.
If Trump intends to keep him on in his administration and feels strongly his secretary of state is doing a good job, he would’ve said something a little more, no doubt.
But if Trump is intent on reshuffling his cabinet, he should strongly consider U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley for Tillerson’s seat. The former governor of South Carolina and congresswoman has the political experience that Tillerson lacks. Haley has also earned rave reviews and great respect on the world stage as ambassador. And he could easily slip former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton back into that position if Haley is tapped for State.
In forcefully representing the United States at the often hostile U.N., Haley has demonstrated bold leadership and resolve, standing up to Kim Jong Un’s high-stakes missile provocations, and to getting China and Russia to go along with international sanctions against the rogue regime. Not an easy feat as China has resisted reining in North Korea, a major regional client state China uses to toy with its neighbors.