Tuesday, March 13, 2018

David Frum Thinks He Knows Why Tillerson Got the Abrupt Heave-Ho this Morning

Did Putin order Trump to axe secretary of state Rex Tillerson or does Trump just know his master's will.

Why did Tillerson get the heave ho this morning via Trump's morning Twitter dump? Why was the State Department so quick in announcing that Tillerson only learned about his firing just like everyone else, via Trump's tweet?

And, this being the Trump administration, the logical question becomes how does this tie in with Russia? Everything else connects with Russia. So, what has Tillerson done recently that might offend America's senior president, Vladimir Putin?  C'mon, if you read the news you know. Bingo! He promised sanctions against the Russians for the nerve agent poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England a week ago.

Eject, Eject, Eject.

Atlantic editor, David Frum, looks at the implausible accounts of Tillerson's firing pouring out of the White House.

The White House’s account of the Tillerson firing collapsed within minutes.

Senior administration officials told outlets including The Washington Post and CNN that Tillerson had been told he would be dismissed on Friday, March 9.

Within the hour, the State Department issued a statement insisting that Tillerson “had every intention of remaining” and “did not speak to the President this morning and is unaware of the reason.” CNN reported that Tillerson had received a call from White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Friday night indicating that he would be replaced that did not specify timing; a senior White House official told the network that it was Trump himself who had suddenly decided to pull the trigger on Tuesday morning. Tillerson learned of his actual firing the same way everybody else did: By reading about it on Twitter shortly after 8:44 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 13.

A lot turns on that timing. On March 12, Tillerson had backed the British government’s accusation that Russia was culpable for a nerve-agent attack on United Kingdom soil. If Tillerson had been fired March 9, then his words of support for Britain could not explain his firing three days before. But if the White House was lying about the timing, it could be lying about the motive.

And since it now seems all but certain that the White House was lying about the timing, it looks more probable that it was lying about the motive too.


Trump is rejecting the consensus view of the U.K. and U.S. intelligence communities about an act of Russian aggression—and, if his past behavior is any indication, preparing the way for his own determination to do nothing.

It echoes the approach he took toward Russian intervention in the U.S. election to help elect him in 2016: Feign uncertainty about what is not uncertain in order to justify inaction.


Yesterday, the Republicans on the House intelligence committee announced that they had concluded the investigation of the Russian interference—and would soon publish a report acquitting Trump of collusion. Bad luck for them to release the report on the very day that Trump again demonstrated that something is very, very wrong in the Trump-Russia relationship. It’s possible to imagine innocent explanations. And it’s easy to list the plausible explanations. Ominously for the western alliance and the security of the United States, those two sets no longer overlap at all.


the salamander said...

.. the Trumplican fire on board has spread.. fanned by complicit incompetent suckholes who would see a dumpster fire as a BBQ opportunity .. thus cometh the GOP.. Tenacious parasites are they? If they were house pets, veterinarians could proscribe a drastic purging treatment.. but they are now worms squirming in the hull of the formerly good ship America. Most of these thugs are already millionaires.. who like Donald th Trumpo think they 'can take it with them' .. Farcical or criminal? Or just business as usual?

But then America seems dazed n confused.. lead poisoning? Between evangelicals and the lost loser partisans.. there are almost 50% of Americans thinking 'everything is alright' .. That is deluded dreamland realm.. Random teenage gunmen showing up in schools with AR-15's and overcoats loaded with magazines.. so arm the teachers with side weapons in quick draw holsters.. or in a desk drawer.. Its to laugh.. or weep, take yer pick..

Myself, I choose to boil over... and also choose not to enter the lost planet of the US of A.. this is a country that elected Donald Trump as President.. the corrollary being the best they could muster was Hillary, because it was her turn.. r you serious ? These are your 'exemplars' - your leading political lights? Its like Ezra Levant running for Prime Minister and getting elected.. except worse, far worse

Jay Farquharson said...

Let's see, according to Corn and Iskoff's new book and the unrelased later Steele memo, Putin nixed Trump's choice of Romney at State and made Trump chose Tillerson,

Tillerson spends most of his career, traipsing around the Globe, putting out Trump' dumpster fires with Allies, by contradicting Trump. Of course, Trump's ignited dumpster fires all look like Putin's Wish List.

Friction ensues.

Pompeo went to a job interview alone with the sanctioned heads of Russian Intelligence, ( and an RT "Photographer"), in January, which we only learned about when Russian Media, (RT and Spudnik, published the meeting and photos). When exposed, he denied, then confirmed, then said it was "about terrorism".

Chemical Weapons attack in Britain, May denounces Russia, Drumph says nothing, Tillerson, flying back to the US, ( not yet fired as far as anybody knows,) say's "Russia did it and we will stand with Britain",

Say's the same thing all weekend and into Monday.

Tuesday morning, we wake up to find out Tillerson's fired, Pompeo is hired, and the White Supremacy House claims this all happened Friday, everybody else says it happened at 8.55 am today, via Twitter.

So now we know the Chain of Command at the White Supremacy House,

#1 Putin,
#2 Drumph
#3 Kelly, for now
#4-5 other assorted Generals of varying sanity, for now
#6 Jarvanka
#7 Nazi Miller
After that it's PutinBot's, Fredo's and Plutocrats all the way down.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sal, I wonder where is to be found the breaking point? How much further can Trump degrade the presidency and what will befall the United States by the time he's done.

Like you I now avoid the Trumpian wasteland. My passport expired last year and I've made no effort to renew it. It's a convenient way to avoid temptation.

I have, however, invited my American friends to come this way for a visit - for a change. A couple of them are genuinely traumatized at what has happened in their homeland.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi, Jay. Thanks for the heads up. I used my dwindling lunch money to order the Isikoff/Corn book. I've got such a backlog of reading stacked up around this place. One of the best is a 1905 first edition of "Modern Living." It's a collection of 40 lectures on progressivism from the great minds of that era. It is fascinating to explore earlier progressive thought and to realize how that wisdom has been driven from our current political discourse and how our political apparatus, across the spectrum, has come to serve focused interests and itself at the considerable expense of the public interest.

Anonymous said...

Jay, I think the order on your list needs updating. Kelly effectively neutered Jarvanka by pulling their security clearances. Even Donnie Smallgloves is said to want them out. I'd put them in with the Fredos and plutocrats now.


Trailblazer said...

Sal, I wonder where is to be found the breaking point?

We ,the world, will go much further down the toilet before anything will change.
Pick your despot and compare to Trumps America and you will see the truth.
So called ' civilised' societies have fallen many times whilst they castigate 'third world' countries for shyster politics.
Is Trump any less a despot than Robert Mugabe?
I think not.
The similarities are endless.
Sadly their demise will likely be similar.
Mugabe was forcibly retired whilst retaining his ill gotten fortune.
I predicted Trump will do likewise.
Don't ask me about Tony Blair!!


Jay Farquharson said...


Jarvanka doesn't need "Intelligence Briefings" or "National Security Classified Documents" to grift real estate loans with the UAE, sell "anchor baby" Condo's in China, etc.

They still have Hair Twitler's ear, and as the Miller episode over DACA, or the Ross episode over steel shows, who ever get's to him last, wins.

That means there was probably an early morning phone call from Putin to Trump, somewhere between 8:45 and 8:54.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on the morning phone call from Pooty Poot. I bet Trump was pissed at having to interrupt his daily briefing from Fox and Friends, but better that than some Novichok in his Diet Coke.


Northern PoV said...

You people said Tillerson was Putin's pick ... a year ago
... and recent Mitt Romney bs came out just last week.
Now .... Tillerson is out because of Putin?

You have no shame (or short term memory?)

crf said...

When Trump nominated Mike Pence, I thought it was a good choice. He is an arch conservative, but isn't impulsive in his actions. Mike Pence is not doing his job: either Trump is not listening to him, or Pence hasn't told Trump that he can't keep firing the most competent people in his cabinet.

Firing Tillerson is the biggest disaster so far for Trump's presidency.

Jay Farquharson said...

Your BFF Pootie poot carried out a CBW attack on the British Public last week.

As the 2nd Steele dossier shows, and the new book, etc shows, Putin picked Tillerson over Romney, like we said.

Tillerson however, said from Friday until Monday, the US would back Britain against Putin.

Drumph said nothing in response to a CBW terror attack by Russia aginst the US's ally, Huckabee when repeatably pressed on the issue that the US "might" do something "if" it was Russia, but maybe it wasn't.


Tillerson kept contradicting Trump,

Putin called Trump, made him fire Tillerson, ( great signal to Britain on who their allies actually are),

and recommended Pompeo, who could under intense questioning by the Senate, reluctantly confirmed the CIA's findings since 2011 that Russia was interfering in US elections, with a weak, yes I agree with my department.

Now, with Pompeo at State, you won't hear a peep out of State about Putin, it will be all Iran, all the time.

Jay Farquharson said...

Pence is a Dominionist nut job. He lives every day of his life in the hopes that today, will be the day of the Rapture, man made or not. He's a man who can't be alone in the same room with another woman, not even his daughters, with out Mother, ( his wife) being present. He picked and ran Team Trump.


John's Aghast said...

Any chance dTrumf and Putin will amalgamate their two territories into one ginormouse entity? What then would become of the territory caught in the middle?

The Mound of Sound said...

Chris, I think Pence is weighing his odds of succession and he's laying low in the meantime. If Trump is for the chop what good will it do Mikey to take a ride in the same cart?

Anonymous said...

Mound, this is why I'm concerned that Mueller hasn't called Pence in for an interview. Pence was in charge of the transition team and knew, or ought to have known, everything that Flynn, Gates, Kushner, etc. were up to. I don't see what Mueller gains by not tying him tightly to the others already indicted.


Anonymous said...


Them damn Ruskies are trying to poison our water with chlorine! Putin's behind it! It's how he got Americans to vote for Trump!!

Everyone must immediately stop drinking tap water and bottled water (which is actually filtered tap water containing Putin's wretched chlorine!!) and only drink their own urine.

It's the only way to stop Putin from taking over America and the West!

Drink your own urine to save our glorious global plutocracy – aka, freedom and democracy!


The Mound of Sound said...

Anon 12:53: man you've gotta put down the bong.

The Mound of Sound said...

Cap, Elijah Cummings, top Dem on the House Oversight Committee sent Pence a letter on Nov. 18, months before the swearing in, laying out Flynn's conflicts.


Jay Farquharson said...

Pence is on Meuller's list and won't be walking away unscathed.

Agnew was taken down first.

Anonymous said...

Jay, remember Fitzmas? Cheney was surely headed for jail, Dubya was gonna get impeached, etc, etc. Then a damp squib - nobody was charged with outing Plame, and Scooter went to jail for a bit before Bush commuted his sentence.

The same thing's likely to happen with Mueller's probe. Here's why:
- By law, Mueller can only release his report to the AG or in this case, since Sessions recused himself, to his subordinate Rosenstein
- Mueller is forbidden from discussing his findings with anyone outside the Justice Department
- It's up to Rosenstein to decide whether to release Mueller's report to Congress for further action, i.e. impeachment.

Now, you may trust Rosenstein to do the right thing, but what happens if the current rumours are true and Sessions gets replaced by Pruit, who isn't conflicted on Russia? Do you trust Pruit to release Mueller's report? I know I'd sooner trust him to introduce a carbon tax. But what if he simply says, "the House Intelligence Committee found no collusion, so I'm shutting down Mueller's probe"?