WASHINGTON, D.C.: US Secretary of State on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) Rex Tillerson denied suggestions that he plans to resign because of disagreement with the White House.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Tillerson told reporters said as received Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
Tillerson described his relationship with President Donald Trump as “good” and he would remain in his job “as long as the president lets me.”
Tillerson’s job status has been the subject of much speculation this week in Washington following a report from CNN.
CNN said that among Tillerson’s growing differences with the White House were fresh debate over Iran policy and the process of naming White House personnel, as well as Trump’s chaotic and confusing foreign policy approach.
The network quoted anonymous sources as saying Tillerson told people close to him that he would leave his job by the end of the year.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert denied Tuesday that Tillerson planned to resign.
She said he is taking a few days off after tour of Gulf nations in July to try to end a diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its allies.
Since taking the helm of the State Department in February, the former ExxonMobil chair has come under fire for his ultra-low profile, and his plan to slash by 30 percent the budget of an agency that employs more than 70,000 people in Washington and around the world.
When he returned from the Gulf on July 13, Tillerson, a 65-year-old Texan, said he was tired.
He also said his life was easier when he ran ExxonMobil from 2006 to 2016 because was “the ultimate decision-maker” in a process that was disciplined and structured at the oil giant.
“Those are not the characteristics of the United States government. And I don’t say that as a criticism. It’s just an observation of fact. It’s largely not a highly disciplined organization, decision-making is fragmented and sometimes people don’t want to take decisions,” Tillerson said. AFP