BREAKING NEWS Man indicted for fraud on fallen Huntsville Police Officer Billy Clardy III’s memorial fund Full Story

Tillerson breaks his silence on Trump

Since being fired by President Donald Trump as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson has kept a very low profile. But on Thursday night in Houston, Tillerson broke that silence in a big way.

Posted: Dec 8, 2018 12:26 PM
Updated: Dec 8, 2018 12:57 PM

Since being fired by President Donald Trump as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson has kept a very low profile. But on Thursday night in Houston, Tillerson broke that silence in a big way.

Here's how he described the "why" behind the breakdown of his relationship with the President, according to the Houston Chronicle:

"So often, the President would say here's what I want to do and here's how I want to do it and I would have to say to him, Mr. President I understand what you want to do but you can't do it that way. It violates the law."

Um, what???

The President of the United States would tell the secretary of state how he wanted things done and the secretary of state would have to tell him it couldn't be done the way he wanted because that was illegal?

This is all fine!

What's scary about Tillerson's admission? A few things.

1) Trump either doesn't know the law or doesn't care about the law

2) This isn't the first time we've heard of this sort of I-am-the-law, Judge Dredd-like behavior from the President.

On that second point, remember that former FBI director James Comey has testified -- under oath -- that Trump, in a one-on-one meeting, asked him to put aside the Justice Department investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The President publicly pressured then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take up an investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server. (Clinton was not charged in a previous FBI investigation.)

Time and time again -- particularly in his interactions with the Justice Department -- Trump has shown that he has zero understanding of the limits of his job.

Tillerson described Trump as "a man who's undisciplined, doesn't like to read, doesn't read briefing reports, doesn't like to get into the details of a lot of things but rather says 'this is what I believe.'"

That approach is broadly in keeping with Trump's experience in the private sector. In business, he largely did what he wanted -- rules (and consequences) be damned. If things went bad, the penalty, usually, was bankruptcy -- and Trump believed he could just deal and talk his way out of that sort of thing.

Trump has never understood the distinctions between being the head (figurehead, some would say) of a company and being the President of the United States. In his dealings with Sessions -- and Tillerson -- Trump's assumption is that they will do whatever he tells them to do because, well, he's the boss.

The idea that Tillerson, Sessions and the rest of the administration ultimately serve a) the people of the country and b) the rule of law is seemingly lost on Trump.

Need more evidence? Trump never forgave Sessions for recusing himself from the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Why? "Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the President," Trump told The New York Times in July 2017. "It's extremely unfair -- and that's a mild word -- to the President."

That Sessions recused himself to prevent any perception of bias in the investigation -- you know, for the good of the country and all that -- was totally lost on Trump. His only reaction to the situation was: This is bad for me, and so Sessions shouldn't have done it.

Which, really, says it all.

Trump's total ignorance of the law -- whether willful or just from sheer obtuseness -- is, at this point, a defining characteristic of his presidency. He simply doesn't get that there are limits on his power, limits put in place to preserve the office of the presidency -- and the broader institutions of our democracy.

The Point: We have a President who, according to his one-time FBI director and his first secretary of state, repeatedly proposed ideas that were in violation of established laws. Sit with that for a minute.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 82°
Florence
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 76°
Fayetteville
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 78°
Decatur
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Scottsboro
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 89927

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11859225
Mobile9086191
Montgomery6249143
Madison501425
Tuscaloosa397463
Baldwin321023
Shelby305032
Marshall296630
Unassigned273453
Lee250540
Morgan222315
Etowah193026
DeKalb170113
Elmore160237
Calhoun15609
Walker147063
Houston131912
Dallas128823
Russell12331
St. Clair121712
Franklin119620
Limestone119613
Cullman114111
Colbert109312
Lauderdale107112
Autauga102420
Escambia97915
Talladega91813
Jackson8283
Chambers82138
Tallapoosa81478
Dale78520
Butler75235
Blount7363
Chilton7106
Coffee7095
Covington70920
Pike6607
Barbour5635
Lowndes55224
Marion54224
Marengo52014
Clarke4869
Hale45926
Bullock43811
Perry4294
Winston42911
Wilcox4059
Monroe3914
Randolph38810
Bibb3743
Conecuh37310
Pickens3679
Sumter36118
Lawrence3100
Washington31011
Macon30913
Crenshaw2863
Choctaw27412
Henry2453
Cherokee2427
Greene24211
Geneva2320
Clay2175
Lamar1982
Fayette1745
Cleburne1211
Coosa922
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 110636

Reported Deaths: 1092
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby21492288
Davidson19400202
Rutherford607253
Hamilton566147
Knox403236
Williamson326922
Sumner317870
Unassigned29544
Out of TN278314
Wilson207221
Montgomery173411
Bradley171310
Sevier17135
Trousdale15726
Putnam154413
Robertson145017
Hamblen122913
Blount11207
Tipton11069
Maury10815
Washington10662
Madison91213
Bedford87110
Macon83213
Sullivan8069
Hardeman80111
Lake7490
Bledsoe6721
Loudon6533
Fayette6208
Anderson6075
Dickson5951
Gibson5672
Dyer5557
Cheatham5485
Rhea5021
Jefferson4962
McMinn48920
Lawrence4786
Obion4354
Henderson4310
Carter4275
Lauderdale4236
Coffee4172
Warren4034
Hardin4017
Cocke4001
Cumberland3796
Haywood3745
Greene3715
Monroe3669
Roane3642
Smith3633
Hawkins3624
Giles3519
McNairy3165
DeKalb3051
Franklin2864
Weakley2763
Marshall2652
Lincoln2541
Hickman2310
Carroll2283
Crockett2263
Claiborne2210
Henry2160
Wayne2161
Campbell2131
Marion2054
White1943
Chester1932
Johnson1720
Grainger1690
Polk1651
Decatur1612
Unicoi1380
Overton1341
Union1200
Cannon1180
Jackson1061
Humphreys1053
Scott1040
Grundy1012
Meigs980
Benton971
Sequatchie940
Morgan821
Hancock761
Fentress740
Perry740
Stewart700
Clay610
Lewis561
Houston550
Moore450
Van Buren330
Pickett221

 

 

Community Events