Tillerson Backs Away: The President Speaks For Himself

The AFP reports:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended American values on Sunday after a UN panel criticized the official response to racist violence — but conspicuously declined to speak for President Donald Trump.

Asked on Fox News Sunday whether Trump’s stance had made it harder for Washington’s top diplomat to promote US values around the world, Tillerson spoke for his State Department. “We represent the American people, their commitment to freedom and to equal treatment to people the world over, and that message has never changed,” he said.

Pressed on whether Trump had undermined that message, Tillerson said: “I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.”

Interviewer Chris Wallace then gave him another chance to defend Trump, asking: “And the president’s values?” “The president speaks for himself, Chris,” Tillerson replied.

  • j.martindale

    More often than not, the presidunt twitters for himself.

  • liondon#iamnotatraitor

    I wanna work again after this shit storm.

  • justmeeeee

    Tru dat! But the president should speak or us all, one would think, would one not?

  • Gustav2

    “The President speaks for himself” not for Americans.

    Let that sink in.

    • Bluto

      Then we have the obligation of appointing someone as the official American spokesperson since cheeto has abdicated responsibility. Nominations?

      • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

        Rex Tillerson. He’s everything that Americans value. -_-

      • Snarkaholic

        Bette Midler.

      • ohbear1957

        Pickle!

    • Joe in PA

      SMH…isn’t treasonous or something? Of course he speaks for Americans. That’s his job! For Tillerson to say that is unbelievable.

    • Joe in PA

      And the next press conference with Huckabilly:

      Look, the President has been very clear…..

      • Nowhereman

        …or “I haven’t discussed the biggest issues of the day with the president.”…

        • Joe in PA

          Yup!

          • Nowhereman

            You gotta wonder what the hell they DO discuss–Hair styling tips?

      • Gerry Fisher

        “…very clear that he speaks only for (and about) himself.”

        • Joe in PA

          I was thinking of you when I typed that…I know how much you love that line (and the one you just wrote). She’s so fucking predictable.

          Oh, but what about “That’s all I have to say on the matter, next question.” ?

        • JCF

          Because he only ever thinks OF HIMSELF.

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        “I’ve never discussed anything presidential with him. Let me get back to you on that.”

    • BearEyes

      tillerson at least seems to know toxic when he sees it

      • John30013

        Well, as the ex-CEO of Exxon, I’m sure that’s a skill he pulled up along the way.

  • bkmn

    His response to Charlottesville was his ‘pivot’ – any pundit claiming he will still make a pivot to being presidential is a complete moron.

    • coram nobis

      No, what Donald said was “divot.” He’s going to make lots of divots in his precidentcy.

      • Nowhereman

        Oh my god–now it all makes sense!

    • Gerry Fisher

      Pivot often and far enough, and you’re pointed right back in the same direction.

    • teeveedub

      When you take every side on every position, you can always point back to the one that’s most convenient at the moment as a way of defending yourself. “See? I said racists were bad. Once.”

  • TrueWords

    Trying to control an egoistical idiot like Trump is IMPOSSIBLE and IMPROBABLE

    https://media.giphy.com/media/4pMX5rJ4PYAEM/200.gif

    • Hue-Man

      Ativan.

      • JustDucky

        Haldol.

  • TheManicMechanic

    He also speaks for the racists, homophobic deplorables.

  • jimbo65

    Well.that can be lumped in with Kelly’s hold the line until the country is less divided by hate. Gods when will this end?

    • David L. Caster

      I don’t know, but when the end comes it is likely to be sudden.

  • Bluto
    • TJay229

      I must steal this… It’s brilliant.

      • SheriJMartinez

        Stock98j

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    • JCF

      Outstanding!

  • shellback

    Hey, Tillie, you accepted a job with Dump – That makes you A FUCKING NAZI.

    • Hanwi

      I highly doubt he is a nazi, he took the position to try and lift the sanctions against Russia which scuttled Exxon’s oil deal with them.

      Painting with such a wide brush dilutes and discredits the message. Save the nazi outrage for actual nazis.

      • BobSF_94117

        OK, he’s a lesser fascist.

        • Hanwi

          No, he’s just a ex-CEO looking out for the best interest of his company.

          He stood up against Gorka on several things, he has pushed back against singling out muslims.

          • David L. Caster

            He’s one of the few people in the administration with a brain. He is still not a pro diplomat and I think he is quickly realizing that Trump is destroying everything and everyone around him including the reputations of people like Tillerson himself.

            Shrewd capitalist opportunists like Tillerson are survivors and will jump ship when threatened. He may stay on thinking that by being at State he will at least be able to prevent a worse Trump appointment to SoS. Though faint praise it might be, Tillerson may be enough more principled than Trump to consider the good of the country.

          • BobSF_94117

            He’s supposed to be looking out for the best interests of the country. What’s good for Exxon is rarely good for the U.S.

          • Hanwi

            In a normal administration I would agree, this is uncharted water in the history of the US.

        • Beagle

          Fellow traveler.

  • Steve Smith

    Next one to go? Then you’ll have no state department and not even a secretary of state as bad as Tillerson. Maybe the next one will be an arms manufacturer instead of an oil company executive, just to help spread those American Values.

    • jerry

      As soon as Exxon is done with the office, he’ll nominate Northrop Grumman.

    • prixator

      Erik Prince? Is he available?

      • JCF

        Don’t give Drumpf any ideas!!!

        • prixator

          Well, he’s already listening to him, re: private armies, but I suspect Prince wants to avoid the kind of scrutiny that comes with being publicly associated with Dumpty. I have no doubt that there are many shocking skeletons in his closet.

  • Tomcat

    No we don’t doubt OUR values,,, we doubt yours and the entire trump administrations values.

  • Ninja0980

    Can’t blame him for saying that at this point, since anything he or others say will be contradicted by Trump sooner or later.
    Having said that, he is choosing to stay there so I have no pity for him.

  • Joe in PA

    But the President DOESN’T SPEAK FOR HIMSELF. He’s the president! Good lord, what a stupid thing to say.

    • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

      I consider it telling.

    • Chucktech

      That’s where we are now, isn’t it? Stupidity is the truth.

      • David L. Caster

        And we have ineffectual executive and legislative branches of government lurching towards constitutional crisis.

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips

    In other words,
    “dont blame me. I’m just here for a better deal for exxon”

    • Chucktech

      “…and THAT seems to be circling the toilet bowl…”

    • Nowhereman

      …and to dismantle the State Department! He’s doing a great job at that. We don’t even have an ambassador in South Korea. We DO have one at the Vatican though–priorities I guess.

      • teeveedub

        Also, still no Deputy Sec’y of State, so Tillie’s pretty much on his own.

        • Nowhereman

          I’m sure Jared will pitch in if needed… Speaking of Jared, he’s keeping a low profile these days.

      • Stephen Elliot Phillips

        Calistatron #3 needs somewhere to work

  • another_steve

    If you’re a person closely associated with the sexual predator currently occupying the Oval Office, you’re concerned about your future in politics and your future marketability.

    I can’t believe there’s anyone possessing even a tad of self-respect and half a brain who’s still working for that criminal con artist bigot.

    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      I think that should apply to the entire GOP Congress.

    • Chucktech

      Certainly not shmucks like Tillerson or most of his cabinet. But some smart talking head on the teevee said that it might be a very bad thing if the generals on his staff were to resign (i.e., Mattis, McMaster and Kelly) because without their guiding hand on the tiller, we truly would be in the gravest of danger.

      I fully expect that if Trump were to go completely off the rails (deciding to nuke NK, for example), they’d be on the front lines instructing the rest of the military to “stand down,” in their parlance, in direct defiance of the Commander in Chief.

      • Nychta

        I saw this video of Mattis speaking to troops overseas. According to the article it happened before Trump ordered implementation of the anti trans order. Mattis seems to be telling the troops to hold tight till “our country gets back to respecting each other.”
        http://thehill.com/policy/defense/348099-mattis-to-us-troops-hold-the-line-until-our-country-gets-back-to-respecting

      • another_steve

        I agree with your “stand down” point, Chuck.

        There are lots of good and honorable people in the military, at all levels. I just can’t believe those at the top aren’t fully cognizant of the fact that their current commander-in-chief is a madman with the potential of initiating a nuclear holocaust.

      • Reality.Bites

        I agree with that. They are doing their duty to the country. They are not flawless people. No one is. Not Bernie. Not Hillary. Not Barack. Not Michelle. Not either Bush. Not Dick Cheney. Not even freakin’ Oprah.

        Some of the above will be judged pretty harshly by history, I believe. Five of them are considered war criminals by millions of people on one side of a conflict or another.

        But none of them is a fucking Nazi.

        Think about it, for a second. For months people have been saying, both jokingly and seriously, that Bush or Nixon isn’t the worst President. There may even be some Republicans conceding that Obama or Clinton wasn’t.

        Trump’s only going to be ranked in history against foreign dictators who used racial hate mongering in an attempt to gain power. Some of them succeed, but not many of them end up dying in their own bed, in their own country.

        And his stain on the United States isn’t going to be erased in any of our lifetimes.

        For all we (correctly) say that most who voted, voted for Clinton, and that many didn’t vote at all, so only a fairly small minority of Americans support him, we know pretty certainly that up to a third really do.

        And while not as prevalent, it’s also crystal-clear that the same people who support Trump exist in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia and every other country that thinks it’s over hate. Perhaps it’s 25% in Canada. It’s sure not as low as 10%. It was high enough to take over one of your two main parties. I don’t think George Bush ever gave a damn who had an abortion or which guys like dick, anymore than I ever believed Barack Obama was against equal marriage. But the Republicans have pandered to that hate since the 1960s and foolishly believed they could control it.

  • Lazycrockett
    • David Walker

      “Heckuva job, Brownie” comes to mind, but it’s still early in reporting the other Harvey atrocities.

    • SoCalGal20

      Luckily, a group rescued them but yeah…fucking ICE. A bunch of fucking Nazis.

      • TuuxKabin

        Thank you for adding that. I’ve look for source, do you have citation? As ever, thanks.

  • Tomcat

    From now on trump needs to say this DISCLAIMER before any tweet or presser that he ONLY SPEAKS FOR HIMSELF,,, NOT AMERICA.

    • Nowhereman

      I would be happier if he didn’t speak at all.

      • bzrd

        he needs to keep speaking thus digging his “grave” deeper

  • Paula
    • TuuxKabin

      Please proceed, Mr. Secretary.

  • popebuck1

    Sorry, honey, but as long as you’re working for him, he speaks for you too.

  • BobSF_94117

    “…that message has never changed,”

    Oh, bullshit. Tillerson has repeatedly said we aren’t going to talk about human rights publicly anymore. And there’s zero evidence they’re doing it behind closed doors.

    • OdieDenCO

      donny’s last 2 official acts are evidence they are talking about human rights behind close doors, but not in a good way

  • BobSF_94117

    Apparently Jesus wants someone fired…

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    I wonder if Tillerson will claim his wife wanted him to quit if/when he resigns.

    • Joe in PA

      “to spend more time with family”

      Guaranteed. 🙁

  • blackstar

    ‘We Are Living Through a Battle for the Soul of This Nation’
    – Joe Biden
    New Interview..
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/joe-biden-after-charlottesville/538128/

    • If Joe would have ran, we wouldn’t be in the position!

  • Dagoril

    So my takeaway is that Drumpf’s white-supremacy is even too much for the bigots at Exxon. Wow.

  • Lazycrockett

    JFC!!

    https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/901829651810488321

    That’s what Houston gets in a year.

    • Tomcat

      The Governor looking smarter every day.

      • Hank

        Abbott??? The racist homophobe??? I saw his press conference. He apparently had his wheel chair elevated to “normal” height. (He was almost as tall as the ALS signer next to him.)
        I just wonder, how many Texans really know, that their Gov. is a paraplegic. NOT that it should make a difference.

        • David Walker

          How many people knew about FDR in a wheelchair? He was able to stand for speeches, but people were a lot more concerned with what he was doing than in his physical condition. Of course, there’s also Dr. Strangelove.

        • Natty Enquirer

          What does the governor’s disability have to do with his racism, or homophobia, or propensity to make stupid proclamations?

          • Hank

            Absolutely nothing! I was just intrigued, that he was concerned about the “visuals”.

          • olandp

            It matters because he sued and won $10 million, then as an elected official made it legally impossible for anyone else to get that much of a recovery.

          • bzrd

            While jogging, an oak tree fell on him, this just after a storm. Interesting the insurance company didn’t say it was an act of god since Abbott is a roman catholic

      • David L. Caster

        Have to wonder what he thinks about climate change now.

  • Ernest Endevor

    Oh God, it’s Sunday! That means endless happily-yap on the tee-vee about ‘breaking news’ I read on the internets four days ago. And interviews with people who aren’t worth the price of a haircut.

    • Karl Dubhe

      Only if you’ve not shot the thing yet. 🙂

      I shot my tv. So should you.

      • Nychta

        I use my TV only as a monitor for my laptop when I want a larger view. Other than that, never watch it.

      • Ernest Endevor

        I’d have to shoot the hubby first. He’s devoted to Stephanopulous, etc. Mind you, shooting him isn’t so far-fetched though I might just settle for pushing him down the stairs.

    • Nowhereman

      And what a week for Joy Reid to have a vacation~

  • The New Paige Turner™

    Thanks Mr Tillerson.

    Looks like you will be joining the long list of short term White house staff in the not to distant future.

    • TuuxKabin

      Repeal and replace.

      • OdieDenCO

        convict and jail

        • TuuxKabin

          and hang.

  • World, don’t blame ME! I voted for Hillary! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/795c6f4a43431fd3eac274516acef2be28922adb43dcc3a641b9880602743c12.jpg World, don’t blame MOST Americans!

    Over SEVENTY percent of Eligible American Voters did NOT support His Selected Inhumaneness, who also LOST by millions the American Popular Vote!

    2016 America’sn Eligible Voters totaled 231,556,622*, of which 168,576,986** (72.8%) did NOT vote for His Selected Inhumaneness.

    Statistical Sources:

    *The United States Elections Project

    **The New York Times

    Photo Link:

    https://timothygeorgeharerama.blogspot.com/2017/08/w-o-r-l-d-d-o-n-t-b-l-m-e-m-o-s-t-m-e-r.html?spref=fb

    • Tomcat

      Sorry but those that chose NOT to vote or voted to waste their vote should be held responsible for this as much as trump supporters are.

      • Chucktech

        While I generally agree with that sentiment, I can’t help but also feel that many “people” who voted for Donald Trump wouldn’t have voted at all if he hadn’t been the nominee.

  • Talisman

    guess we know who is next in line to resign or be fired.

  • Tomcat

    I not only voted for Hillary but I had to go get another drivers license, one with a picture just to be eligible to exercise my right to vote.
    My state recently stopped requiring seniors to have picture drivers license.
    Many could not vote because they refused to go buy new license.

    • Tomcat

      All just part of the master plan. I am sure republicans were told not to get the ones with no photo.

    • with Seniors there is the compounded fear that they will not get renewed (eyesight failure as one example) and delay going as long as possible.

    • 2guysnamedjoe

      Another reminder how different things are outside the blue bubbles. I’ve voted for 40 years in NYS, and never once been asked to show ID.

      • John Ruff

        Same here in DC. When they ask for ID, I hand them my voter’s registration card.

  • SoCalGal20

    When the news has to evacuate their own studio due to flooding.

    https://twitter.com/KHOUBlake11/status/901804815633846273

  • Halou

    Tyrants the world over are rejoicing at Trump’s humiliating behavior, his disinterest in human rights both at home and abroad, and his desire to get along well with them before America’s existing democratic allies.

    ISIS uses him to gain new recruits, China uses him to berate activists within their own country. “You want China to be more like that joke of a nation?” Russia is using every opportunity it can get to promote fascism in Europe while America is comatose. and Saudi Arabia is waging holy war against Shiite Muslims here there and everywhere. It’s just a complete bloody mess.

  • SoCalGal20

    Let’s remember, Mexico sent troops to help out during Hurricane Katrina.

    https://twitter.com/Patricia_DSC/status/901201822882209793

    • Karl Dubhe

      Has Trump thought to ask for help from other nations?

      • David Walker

        Of course not. It has a well-trained militia at his disposal, ready to shoot anything that moves. And it would look like 45 was soft on crime if it even allowed Mexican troops into the country. “We’re Murka. We don’t need no stinkin’ help.”

      • SoCalGal20

        LOL are you kidding? Trump won’t ask for help from anybody.

        • David Walker

          He has people for that.

        • jimbo65

          I would be surprised if they did. Especially after shit gibbon refused to affirm article 5 of NATO.

      • OdieDenCO

        wonder what Texans will think seeing russian troops in the streets?

      • TuuxKabin

        has he thought at all?

      • kareemachan

        All he’s been asking for is adulation in Missouri.

    • Treant

      I do hope somebody thanked them…properly.

      • Harveyrabbit

        tRump is thanking them now by building a wall to keep the US out of Mexico.

    • TuuxKabin

      Damn right.

  • SoCalGal20

    The main freeway that circles central Houston.

    https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/901794038289805312

    • Natty Enquirer

      One word: boat.

      • OdieDenCO

        two word: mark twain

    • David Walker

      In 1972, NY state and PA suffered the wrath of Hurricane Agnes. The hurricane stalled over the mountains and dropped an incredible amount of rain. The Susquehanna River, the major river in our area (which eventually becomes the top of Chesapeake Bay), crested at 15 feet above flood stage, which is defined here as 17 feet. I don’t say this to brag, only to note that a stalled hurricane can do as much or more damage than one on the move, as far as water is concerned. Along with the water come fires, entire neighborhoods underwater, and a total disruption in lives. Please, Texas JMGers, please remain aware of what’s going on. And please keep an eye on your neighbors and their pets. Too often people will evacuate and leave their pets behind.

      • SoCalGal20

        Most hurricane deaths happen from storm surge and flooding. And a very wet, slow moving tropical storm will do more damage than a faster moving Cat 1 or Cat 2 hurricane.

    • Ken M

      There are none at all.

    • joe ho

      What happened to the power of prayer? I’d think all those righteous Texas fundies would have gotten God to take care of this.

      • canoebum

        This is what they get for not passing that Bathroom Bill. I’m sure Lt. Governor Dan Patrick will remind the legislature of that at his first opportunity.

        • In contrast, this is God’s revenge on a bigoted legislature trying to pass the bathroom bill.

    • prixator

      I’m surprised that there is still electrical power on in places. But, wow, that’s a frightening picture.

  • JWC

    I think maybe generak Kelly and Rex Tillerson may be the next 2 to jump ship

  • Hank

    No sympathy for Tillerson. He made his bead, when he joined Herr Drumpf and still remains!

  • Natty Enquirer

    It is quite remarkable that a Cabinet member would decline to defend his boss.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    I rather wish that Trump attack Tillerson. He deserves it.

  • Dunkerblinker

    Tillerson is just an old weak pussy!

  • Blake Mason

    is he saying the THE President of the United States speaks for himself… so what he tweets and spews is his ideology and not those of American?… so he is not the leader of the nation…. and is not guiding the US policy?

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Apparently

  • Blake Mason
    • Whoopie Goldburg was the only thing that made that movie watchable, and she wasn’t in it enough.

      • -M-

        Moore and Swayze were very pretty.

        • I’ve never thought Moore was pretty.

          • Reality.Bites

            Especially not standing next to Ashton.

  • Ken M

    Bye, Bye WH…Exxon and his “real” investments call. I don’t think he really cares. He’s richer than Trump after all.

  • -M-

    Tillie and the White supremacy house both made it clear from the start that under them the government wasn’t going to put any effort into promoting US values like freedom and equal treatment for all people with any.

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    If he wants to speak for himself, Trump has one and only one option: resign.

  • tbj5

    “Wait, diplomacy? Is that what I do here?”

  • 2guysnamedjoe

    “The President speaks for himself.”
    Does that mean the pResident is not the one in charge?

  • Jean-Marc in Canada
  • andrew

    Translation: The USA is still the same country with the same values we have had for generations, we just now happen to have a major asshole in the Oval Office.

  • rednekokie

    Tillerson expresses my views in this regard. tRump doesn’t speak for me — I’m an American. And he isn’t my president.

    • thatotherjean

      Mine, too–but I’m not the Secretary of State. It’s the Secretary of State’s JOB to speak for the United States, and the United States is headed by a demented man who doesn’t stand for anything that this country has stood for in at least a century. Tillerson walks the line between the President and disaster. Considering that he’s as inexperienced in government as is his boss, he’s doing better than I expected; but neither of them belongs in office. The sooner he and Trump and the rest of Trump’s sorry administration are gone, the better off the United States will be. .

  • And Tillerson will be replace by…………?

  • Grumpy Old Man
    • LesbianTippingHabits

      Presidential urinal cakes are also quite appropriate. Thanks for sharing.

  • SheriJMartinez

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