Tillerson Leaves State Department, Thanks Everyone Except Donald Trump

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We’ve now heard from Rex Tillerson. In a wavering voice, he held a press briefing in which he thanked everyone for their contributions over the past year. He thanked State Department workers. He thanked Defense Secretary James Mattis. He literally thanked all 300 million Americans.

Except for Donald Trump. He didn’t thank Donald Trump.

Anyway, it’s tough to know how to react to the Tillerson firing. On the one hand, he was completely incompetent and presided over a gutting of the foreign service corps. On the other hand, he at least tried to rein in Trump’s worst instincts. Mike Pompeo sure isn’t going to do that. And now Pompeo will be replaced at the CIA by a career officer who was in charge of torturing prisoners during the Bush administration.

And while we’re on the subject, remember this from last October?

“I have never considered leaving this post,” Tillerson said from the State Department’s lavish Treaty Room….The statement followed a report by NBC News that Tillerson openly mocked the president, calling him a “moron” following a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with top Trump officials.

….One US official expressed confidence in Tillerson’s status due to a so-called “suicide pact” forged between Defense Secretary James Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Tillerson, whereby all three cabinet secretaries vow to leave in the event that the president makes moves against one of them.

First off, Tillerson called Trump a “fucking moron.”¹ Let’s keep that straight. Second, I guess the suicide pact is no longer operative. Mnuchin and Mattis still seem to be around.

Finally, in other news, Donald Trump’s personal aide John McEntee has also been fired. Why? According to CNN, it’s “because he is currently under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes.” He was immediately hired as a senior advisor for the Trump 2020 campaign. I guess they don’t care about serious financial crimes there. In fact, it’s probably a plus on your resume.

Oh, and as I mentioned earlier, the #4 guy at the State Department has also been fired. His crime was telling the truth that Tillerson had no idea why he had been fired.

This has been quite a day for firing people. Apparently H.R. McMaster is next, but perhaps Trump is planning to wait until next week.

¹Tillerson has never denied saying this, but he’s never admitted it either. Now that he’s been fired, I wonder if he’ll open up a bit about just how big a moron Trump is?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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