You’re the secretary of state, the top diplomat for the United States of America.
You are involved in discussions with officials from another great power, China, about what to do about North Korea and its desire to develop a nuclear weapons arsenal. Then you let it be known that you’ve opened “direct line” to North Korea.
That’s progress — yes? — in this game of diplomatic chicken we’ve been playing with the reclusive and dangerous communist regime in North Korea.
Then the president of the United States — your boss — fires off some tweets that says you’re “wasting your time” in seeking talks with North Korea.
Trump declared in a tweet that the United States is keeping its military options open. The president said: “Save your energy, Rex, we’ll do what has to be done.” Huh? What the … ?
There you have it. The president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has undermined once again the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. He has blistered his top diplomat publicly for seeking a constructive solution to a growing crisis that has no realistic military solution.
What’s the upshot of this? According to the Washington Post: “Humiliating for Tillerson, but worse, renders him useless. He’ll resign, today or after a brief face-saving interval,” predicted former Obama administration ambassador and National Security Council official Dan Shapiro, one of many foreign policy experts who tweeted about Trump’s Sunday comments, sent from his New Jersey golf club.
Read more from the Post here.
Should the secretary of state quit over this latest insult? You know, if it were me — and I’m just speaking for myself — I cannot imagine how Secretary Tillerson can tolerate this kind of continuing public humiliation from the president of the United States.