Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly lost his cool in front of a number of White House employees on Friday.
The former ExxonMobile CEO is used to making the difficult decisions that come along with his prior high-profile corporate work. His recent career change has seen a dramatic loss of control, and his frustration at these changes has apparently been building for months.
Tillerson, called the least influential person to hold his position in modern memory, has complained about a range of things involving his new job, including lack of control when it comes to personnel, tweets by the president, and working conditions at the White House, Politico reports. His lack of influence thus far is, reportedly in part due to the restraints put on him by 36-year-old Jared Kushner, who is a senior adviser to President Donald Trump. Kushner has reportedly undermined many of Tillerson’s attempts to shape foreign policy, creating a rift within the inner circle.
Considering the president promised him autonomy to make decisions related to his department, his frustration is not surprising. However, according to the aforementioned Politico report, Tillerson is to blame in part for the bad blood between he and the White House. Tillerson reportedly entered his position with a very negative attitude toward the White House, according to a former State Department aide. Others have also complained about his hands-off approach.
A number of Tillerson’s proposed hires have been reportedly rejected by the administration, making it difficult for America’s chief diplomat to execute any kind of foreign policy agenda.
After Tillerson lost his temper with Johnny DeStefano, head of the presidential personnel office, Kushner reportedly approached the secretary of state’s chief of staff, Margaret Peterlin, to declare the outburst “completely unprofessional.”
Any repercussions that may come from the interaction are as-of-yet-unknown.
H / T New York magazine