Those who like to parse the words that come from public officials have been handed a serious bit of homework to ponder.
It comes from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who offered up a potentially provocative assertion on a Sunday news/talk show.
Tillerson was interviewed by “Fox News Sunday” moderator Chris Wallace and the discussion turned to the Charlottesville, Va., riot and Donald J. Trump’s various responses to the tragic event.
According to Politico: “Tillerson said Sunday that the nation’s commitment to combating discrimination should be without question.
“’We express America’s values from the State Department. We represent the American people, we represent America’s values, our commitment to freedom, our commitment to equal treatment of people the world over and that message has never changed,’ Tillerson said. ‘I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.’”
Wallace then asked: “And the president’s values?” To which Tillerson answered: “The president speaks for himself, Chris.”
“Are you separating yourself from that, sir?” Wallace asked.
“I’ve spoken — I’ve made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week,” Tillerson said.
If I were a betting man — and if I were in the business of reading someone’s mind — I might suggest that the secretary of state has just put some distance between himself and the tirade that poured forth from the president of the United States with regard to Charlottesville.
I also might wonder if the clock has just started ticking on Tillerson’s tenure at the State Department.