Furious Tillerson Explodes Over Staffing Woes, Leaks in Trump Admin.

Pablo Tucker
July 1, 2017

The incident reportedly took place in Chief of Staff Reince Priebus' office June 23 in the presence of Priebus, Kushner, and Margaret Peterlin, the secretary of state's chief of staff. Tillerson lashed out at DeStefano - the head of presidential personnel office - after the White House blocked the secretary of state's choices for senior State Department jobs, Politico reported.

Kushner reportedly told Peterlin that Tillerson's outburst was unprofessional and that they needed to arrive at a solution, two of the people familiar with the exchange told the news outlet. Tillerson accused the White House of torpedoing his nominees, and expressed doubt in the individuals that the White House keeps trying to push on him for such posts.

They say Tillerson was unloading his frustration over the pace of appointments, and what he sees as White House interference, on DeStefano but also on Priebus and Jared Kushner, the President's senior adviser and son-in-law, who was also present.

The former CEO of ExxonMobil and current Secretary of State under the Trump White House has reportedly blown up at senior White House Staff this last week.


"Colleagues are capable of frank exchanges", said R.C. Hammond, a State Department spokesman, when asked about the disagreement. The White House budget has called for massive cuts, which would likely reduce staffing by thousands, decimate the diplomatic corps, and downsize the department's mission.

In a congressional hearing two weeks ago, Tillerson defended the department's efforts to fill vacant positions, and attributed delays to the "paperwork burden" that prospective nominees must shoulder as they go through the vetting process.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the meeting.

'The meeting was productive and there was consensus on the topic of staffing, which is moving forward more quickly, ' he told Politico.


Tillerson's issues with White House interfering started early, the report noted.

'He went into this with a very negative attitude towards the White House, ' the sources said.

Where Tillerson is concerned, the frustration goes both ways.

He's also faced resistance to leaning on civil servants. The source told Politico that Tillerson had opposed a nominee in the transition simply because it was someone Trump wanted. "That includes a trip to Beijing, a visit from the Chinese president to Mar-a-Lago, and the first of a series of four dialogues".


Tillerson has also clashed in ongoing discussions with the administration about who should be nominated to ambassadorships, several people familiar with the conversations told Politico. That has frustrated the White House because even the president's senior aides have had difficulty reaching him at times.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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