With Russia scandal imploding, Donald Trump nudging out Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

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Now that Donald Trump’s Russia scandal is imploding at swifter rate than even his deepest detractors might have expected, some things in Trump’s White House are playing out far differently than had been presumably planned. When Trump decided that the deeply Russian-tainted Rex Tillerson would be his Secretary of State, it seemed to be an effort hand over the State Department to the Kremlin. Yet now, in an unexpected development, Trump appears to be nudging Tillerson out of power already.

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The Senate republican majority rammed through Rex Tillerson’s confirmation on February 1st despite his shaky and bumbling answers in his confirmation hearings, presumably to curry favor with Trump, who was standing on far more stable political footing than he is today. Now word comes that the GOP may have taken the risk of ushering the Russian pawn Tillerson into power for nothing. As the implosion of the Russia scandal accelerates, with Michael Flynn having already resigned over it, and the media and the intel community now equally obsessed with blowing it wide open, Trump is already distancing himself from Tillerson.

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But why? Rex Tillerson was expected to remake the State Department in the Kremlin’s image. Instead he’s already being sidelined, with Donald Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner now serving as de facto Secretary of State instead, according to this Politico report, while Secretary of Defense James Mattis appears to be filling in on the Secretary of State duties that Kushner doesn’t care about. That leaves Tillerson a sitting duck.

If Tillerson is indeed as much of a Kremlin operative as believed, does Trump’s swift decision to begin nudging him out mean that things have gone south between Trump and Putin since Russian puppet Michael Flynn was scapegoated a week ago? Tillerson gave up a $24 million per year job in the private sector to become Secretary of State, presumably at the Kremlin’s instruction. This can’t be what either had in mind. And yet he appears to already have one foot out the door, as the Trump-Russia scandal deepens.

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