How Significant is Trump’s Firing of Rex Tillerson?

“Tillerson was probably the least effective and probably the most disliked within his own agency of any modern Secretary of State.”

Jake Neher/WDET

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump summarily fired his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. By some reports, Tillerson found out about his ouster via Twitter. Tillerson’s firing represents another strange turn in a White House with chaotic turnover and an inability to establish a diplomatic strategy both home and abroad.

Trump is expected to replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. There have been reports since Tillerson’s firing that suggest the bureaucrats and officials working in his department are relieved he’s been shown the door. As secretary of state, he failed to fill numerous vacancies in the State Department, and it was never quite clear what he wanted to turn the department into, or how his vision deviated from President Trump’s.

What was clear was Tillerson and Trump never liked each other, allegedly hurling insults behind each other’s backs. And it’s also clear that Tillerson’s firing is another tear in an otherwise frayed administration.

Oakland University political science professor Peter Trumbore joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to discuss the ramifications of Tillerson’s firing. Trumbore says Tillerson wasn’t particularly effective at his job.

“Tillerson was probably the least effective and probably the most disliked within his own agency of any modern Secretary of State,” he says.

Trumbore says that while his replacement, Mike Pompeo, has government experience, Pompeo’s “partisan and loyalist” tendencies are causes for concern.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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