Earlier today we brought you the story of how Donald Trump’s White House ethics lawyer James Schultz was resigning and trying to create controversy on his way out the door (link). Of course resignations and chaos are the only constant in Trump’s unstable farce of an illegitimate White House, and so now we’re seeing our second high profile resignation of the day. That’s right, so many people are resigning, they can’t even bother to space them out anymore.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has not resigned tonight – but the night is still young, and he just took a major blow that serves to further weaken his already tepid footing. Tillerson brought in Maliz Beams to basically rip the State Department to pieces and reshape it as a toothless empty shell, which was apparently what Tillerson and Trump (and their boss Vladimir Putin) wanted all along. But now Bloomberg (link) says that Beams is unexpectedly resigning.
No one is quite sure why Maliz Beams is abruptly resigning. But it’s a giant blow to Rex Tillerson, because the revamping of the State Department isn’t finished yet. This is the equivalent of a wrecking crew walking off the job after knocking half of your house down, leaving you with a big untenable mess. Some Republicans and numerous Democrats in Congress have been pushing back against Tillerson’s bulldozing of his own agency, and it’s not clear if Beams quit under that pressure, or if something else is going on. But there are larger ramifications here.
For Rex Tillerson, it marches him yet another step closer to the door. At this point Tillerson is likely only still there because Donald Trump is afraid of offending Tillerson’s friend Putin by firing him, and because no one else would want the job at this point anyway. For Trump, it’s part of a larger trend of people bailing on what’s increasingly seen as a sinking ship of an administration.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report