Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a meeting for the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS at the State Department in Washington, D.C., March 22, 2017. (DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr)
Six months ago, Politico declared that Tillerson’s stock was rising in the White House, gradually but successfully winning over President Donald Trump through a combination of cutting the fat at a bloated State Department, and avoiding any media spotlight that would divert attention from his boss. Trump is a media hound; Tillerson is anything but.
He was following orders, Politico made clear, defending the president during overseas trips and keeping his head down.
All the stock Tillerson built up over the spring is now largely gone. The summer and fall were enormously tough times for the Secretary of State. Trump’s undiplomatic tweets on everything from Qatar to North Korea helped undercut Tillerson’s diplomatic endeavors before they’d even started. Back home,…