Having recently waded into the Russia-NATO axis scandal, when as Reuters first reported on Monday Rex Tillerson planned to skip the April 5-6 meeting of NATO foreign ministers despite flying a week later to Russia, which as Reuters said is “a step allies may see as putting Moscow’s concerns ahead of theirs”, only to reverse his decision last night, and offer NATO several “conflict-free” dates which could work for an upcoming meeting (NATO has yet to respond), attention has turned this morning to an interview Tillerson gave to the IJR, in which the former Exxon CEO appears to be expressing some reluctance about his current posting.
In the interview, Tillerson said the job of secretary of State wasn’t a role he actually sought out.
“I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job,” Tillerson told the Independent Journal Review in an interview during his recent Asia trip.
So why did he take the job? As the Hill points out, when asked why he agreed to take on the position of secretary of State, Tillerson said his wife “told me I’m supposed to do this.”
During the interview Tillerson said he had never met President Trump before the election. After his victory, the president wanted to talk with Tillerson “about the world.”
“When he asked me at the end of that conversation to be secretary of State, I was stunned,” Tillerson said. Tillerson later told his wife about the offer.
“I told you God’s not through with you,” he said his wife told him. The former ExxonMobil CEO added: “I was supposed to retire in March, this month. I was going to go to the ranch to be with my grandkids.”
Tillerson also said he serves at the “pleasure of the president.”
“My wife convinced me,” he said. “She was right. I’m supposed to do this.” Tillerson was confirmed as secretary of State in February, despite a late effort by Democrats to slow down the nomination.