Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson says Jared Kushner repeatedly circumvented State Department

Rex Tillerson and Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner and Rex Tillerson. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In a closed-door interview with House Foreign Affairs Committee last month, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson detailed a number of occasions in which White House senior adviser Jared Kushner circumvented the State Department to meet with foreign officials, leaving him in the dark about key policy decisions.

LAWMAKER: "What's your reaction to a meeting of that sort having taken place without your knowledge?" ...
TILLERSON: "It makes me angry. Because I didn’t have a say. The State Department’s views were never expressed."

Trump fires back at Tillerson over Putin preparedness claims

Rex tillerson smirking
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump fired back at former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a Thursday tweet after reports that Tillerson disparaged the president's preparation for a 2017 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin:

"Rex Tillerson, a man who is 'dumb as a rock' and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State, made up a story (he got fired) that I was out-prepared by Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany. I don’t think Putin would agree. Look how the U.S. is doing!"

The backdrop: After a request from House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Tillerson told the committee in a closed hearing Wednesday that "a discrepancy in preparation ... created an unequal footing" for the meeting in Hamburg, per the Washington Post.