No one outside of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin knows for sure why Russian connected Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson was chosen as Secretary of State. He has no qualifications for the job, and since taking it, he’s largely hid and shown little inclination that he even wants the job. But what initially appeared to be simply disinterest may be something else entirely: the evidence now suggests there is something very wrong with Tillerson’s physical health.
Let me be clear about two things: I’m not a medical professional. And I don’t know whether Rex Tillerson is suffering from chronic health issues or if he simply has some kind of temporary health problem. But the issue is obvious enough that it doesn’t take a doctor to spot it. The first sign came earlier this week when the New York Times reported that Tillerson had to fly in for the Group of 20 meeting a day earlier than expected “so he could get a good night’s sleep.” That alone isn’t evidence of anything. He’s sixty-four years old. I’m a quarter century younger than he is, and even I need a good night’s sleep while traveling. But that was just the beginning.
Today, Tillerson was in the midst of a crucial diplomatic mission in South Korea to discuss how to deal with North Korea’s erratic nuclear ambitions. But he cut short his meeting with South Korean officials due to what a South Korean newspaper is describing as “fatigue.” Feigning fatigue might be a tactic used by a diplomat to get out of a meeting with a hostile rival that’s not going well. But this was a friendly and urgent meeting with a close ally. The only reason for Tillerson to bail early and cite fatigue is if he was actually fatigued.
In fact there’s something so clearly wrong with Rex Tillerson’s health and stamina right now that even Rachel Maddow chided him on-air this week for needing a “nap” as soon as he arrives anywhere. And this was before today’s “fatigue” incident. Whatever Tillerson’s health problems are, he’s not in good enough shape to do the job. If his health is this chronically bad, he needs to resign. If his health issues are temporary, he needs to take a leave of absence until he recovers. Then again, with the way Donald Trump has eviscerated the State Department, Tillerson has no deputy. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report