President Donald Trump’s relationship with the now-former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was equal parts confusing and uncomfortable for many Americans, who watched as the pair bickered for months on the national stage, often disagreeing on major foreign policy issues. A new Wall Street Journal report sheds light on the sometimes uncomfortable interactions Trump shared with Tillerson, including a November state dinner in China in which the president implored the secretary to eat a Caesar salad. From the WSJ:
Rex Tillerson found out he was fired by President Trump’s tweet on Tuesday morning, according to Steve Goldstein, undersecretary for public diplomacy https://t.co/TYsY77tQUx pic.twitter.com/YME9uMvTXI— CNN (@CNN) March 13, 2018
In a private room in China’s Great Hall of the People in November, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sat with President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials as their hosts delivered plates of wilted Caesar salad. . Trump, in the midst of a five-country tour of Asia, grew concerned the untouched greens would offend the Chinese, according to people familiar with the matter. So he ordered Mr. Tillerson to start. “Rex,” he said, “eat the salad.” Mr. Tillerson laughed off the remark, but the moment illustrated the at-times awkward relationship between the secretary of state and his boss that came to an abrupt end Tuesday when Mr. Trump announced in a tweet that he had replaced him.Trump tweeted he was replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, after months of denying reports indicating he was planning on sacking the head of the state department. “Rex and I had been talking about this for a long time,” Trump told reporters outside of the White House on Tuesday, adding the two were not “thinking the same” on issues including the Iran nuclear deal.
Undersecretary Steve Goldstein said Trump had not fired Tillerson personally in a statement Tuesday, adding the secretary of state had “every intention of staying, because of critical progress made in national security.” Goldstein was subsequently fired after his statement was released. [image via screengrab] — Follow Chris Riotta (@ChrisRiotta) on Twitter