Nov 10, 2017

Tillerson at odds with Trump again

Photo: Cliff Owen / AP

  • Rex Tillerson on Friday about Saudi Arabia's ostensible anti-corruption purge, according to a State Department pool report: "My own view is that it does, it raises a few concerns until we see more clearly how these particular individuals are dealt with."
  • President Trump tweeted on Monday about the very same purge: "I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing...Some of those they are harshly treating have been "milking" their country for years!"

Why this matters: It's just the latest example of the secretary of state being at odds with the president. Trump has contradicted Tillerson both publicly and privately on a range of issues, including the Iran nuclear deal, Qatar, and North Korea, with Trump tweeting: "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man... Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!"

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Acting Navy head called fired aircraft carrier captain "stupid" in address to crew

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Monday that its ousted commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, was "too naive or too stupid" to not realize that his letter pleading for help in battling a coronavirus outbreak onboard would be leaked to the press, according to a copy of his remarks obtained by CNN.

The big picture: Modly also floated the possibility that Crozier, who has since been diagnosed with coronavirus himself, leaked the letter deliberately. He called the act a "betrayal of trust, with me, with his chain of command."