Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson spent seven hours meeting with the House Foreign Affairs committee on Tuesday, and no one has any idea why, according to the Washington Post. The session happened entirely behind closed doors.
Tillerson’s presence was apparently requested by Rep. Eliot Engel.
“The discussion... covered a wide array of topics related to foreign affairs, the operations of the nation’s foreign policymaking apparatus and his tenure as Secretary of State,” a statement from a spokesman for Tillerson said.
An official told the Post that the White House was aware of the meeting before it happened and didn’t attempt to prevent it.
From the Post:
Among the topics discussed were Tillerson’s relationships with other White House advisers, including President Trump and his family; Trump’s interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin; and how policy is made in the Middle East and North Korea. He expressed some frustrations with the president’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, the official said.
This sounds like kind of a big deal, so it’s weird that no one knew anything about it beforehand and that the White House didn’t fight it, as they do pretty much any other appearance by present or former administration officials in Congress.
The Representative who spoke to the Post anonymously said Tillerson appeared voluntarily, meaning he wasn’t subpoenaed.
Trump and Tillerson didn’t exactly get along during the former Exxon CEO’s tenure at the White House. In 2017, it was reported that Tillerson had privately referred to Trump as a “fucking moron.” The two clashed repeatedly until Trump fired Tillerson by tweet in March 2018.
In December, Tillerson went on CBS to publicly criticize Trump’s policies. The president didn’t take this very well, tweeting that Tillerson was “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.” Tillerson has also said that during his time in the administration, Trump regularly asked him to break the law.
So, given the animosity between Trump and Tillerson, what the hell was this seven hour meeting about, and why didn’t the White House protest it?! We certainly don’t know! Let us know if you figure it out.