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By Mark Sumner
Donald Trump's State Department deserves to be abbreviated to State Dept., because it is. From the moment he landed at the White House, Trump began showing diplomats the door. Whether he was convinced that understanding history, intentional law, and diplomatic skills were something that wouldn't be needed in his regime of best-dealmakers-ever, or he was simply worried that everyone at State was contaminated with Hillary Clinton cooties, Trump emptied the department and never got around to filling slots that had previously been regarded as critical.
That's left official secretary of state and Friend of Russia Rex Tillerson with a lot of space to rattle around, and plenty of time to contemplate being back on his horse ranch (he's the Texas-based CEO of an oil company, of course he has a horse ranch). And with White House communications turning over and Donald Trump running over the Justice Department, one of the things Rex is contemplating is running for the doors.
"Among those who viewed the President's public rebuke of Sessions as unprofessional, according to several sources, is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon-Mobil CEO.
"Tillerson has a growing list of differences with the White House, including a new debate over Iran policy and personnel. His frustration is hardly a secret and it has spilled out publicly at times. But friends sense a change of late."
The press keeps acting as if Trump's press secretary has a difficult job, but really, communications at the Trump White House consist of simply pretending that whatever Trump said makes sense. Tillerson, on the other hand, has to convince foreign leaders that Trump's flip-flopping, backstabbing, and shifting collection of vengeance-based priorities provide some kind of basis for international relations. Tillerson had been hoping to gut out another six months before waving farewell, but ...
"Two sources who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity over the weekend said they would not be surprised if there was a 'Rexit' from Foggy Bottom sooner that that."
One year with the State Department would normally be barely enough time to scratch the surface of the complex, delicate process needed for international negotiations and the dense web of existing relationships. But one year with Donald Trump is a lifetime.
With the stream of people who are already shaking the faux-gold dust off their feet, and Trump's inability to select candidates for positions that haven't proven their loyalty through years of being his footstool, the president is actually following up on his goal of shrinking government -- because no one wants to work for him.