Rex Tillerson Breaks His Silence: Trump Is Impulsive, Hates Reading, and Floated Illegal Plans

The former secretary of state tells the country how he really feels about his old boss.

Ting Shen/Zumapress

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On Thursday evening, Rex Tillerson, the former secretary of state and Exxon Mobil CEO, sat down for an interview with CBS’s Bob Schieffer in Houston. It was Tillerson’s first public appearance since being fired by Donald Trump in March after months of tension, and when it came to discussing his points of disagreement with the president, Tillerson did not mince words. 

“So often, the president would say, ‘Here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I want to do it,'” Tillerson recalled, according to the Houston Chronicle, “and I would have to say to him, ‘Mr. President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law.'”

“I think he grew tired of me being the guy every day who told him he can’t do that,” Tillerson said.

Asked if he believed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election—a charge that Trump continues to cast doubt on—Tillerson said, “There’s no question” that it did, citing the evidence presented by US intelligence agencies. Tillerson also discussed the president’s tendency to act on impulse rather than reading things like briefing reports before making decisions. You can watch that exchange in the clip below. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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