Donald Trump is quite probably the most narcissistic, and most insecure, individual in the history of United States politics – which is saying something. So it says a whole lot more that Trump hasn’t yet fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, even upon learning that Tillerson called Trump a “moron.” Trump is clearly afraid to to fire Tillerson, even though just about anyone else would have been shoved out the door for such an offense by now.
Some will point to the so-called “suicide pact” between Tillerson, James Mattis, and Steven Mnuchin, who have supposedly all agreed to resign if Trump tries to fire any one of them (link). But while that may be a consideration in Trump’s thinking, his endless spate of other firings and forced resignations has demonstrated that he doesn’t believe he truly needs any of these people. So let’s talk about what’s probably driving Trump’s true fear about firing Tillerson: Russia.
Yes, there are those who believe that Trump’s detractors are trying to make everything about Russia. But that’s only because Trump himself has made everything about Russia. Rex Tillerson was an oil company CEO who had no political background or ambitions, and was ready to retire entirely, when Trump bizarrely tapped him to be Secretary of State. Tillerson’s lone claim to fame on the international stage: his longstanding close professional relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded him the Russian Order Of Friendship in 2014.
It’s been clear from the start that Donald Trump chose Rex Tillerson for the job in order to make Putin happy. It’s also clear that Trump is hesitating to fire Tillerson, despite how he must feel about Tillerson having called him a “moron” in front of other administration officials, because Trump is afraid Putin will be displeased by the move. Even in something this complicated, it all comes down to Trump being a Russian puppet.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report