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Tillerson blows up at top White House aide

According to Politico, Kushner told Tillerson’s chief of staff, Peterlin, after the White House meeting where the secretary of state lost his cool that the former Exxon CEO had acted unprofessionally. He also accused the White House of leaking unflattering information on him to the media.Now it’s exactly clear who the “they” Scarborough was referring to is, but, based on his usage of the pronoun throughout the segment, it seems clear “they” could only be officials within the White House. Politico reported last night that that the perennially overshadowed Secretary of State exploded at a White House aide during a recent meeting over West Wing blocking of senior State Department appointments. He also said he did not want DeStefano’s office to “have any role in staffing” and “expressed frustration that anybody would know better” than him about who should be hired in his department.Tillerson spokesman R.C. Hammond downplayed the disagreement, calling it a “frank exchange” among colleagues. Tillerson also noted the president gave him the freedom to take decisions, a senior White House aide told Politico. “It’s just very abnormal that these issues wouldn’t be worked out more quickly”. Dozens of top agency positions remain unfilled, the White House has stymied Tillerson’s efforts to hire his own people, and State has been left operating with a skeleton crew. The 38-year-old has served as a senior adviser to former House Speaker John Boehner prior to joining the Trump administration. The White House budget has called for massive cuts, which would likely reduce staffing by thousands, decimate the diplomatic corps, and downsize the department’s mission.Tillerson and Trump have assumed contradictory positions on Qatar — which hosts, unbeknownst to #45, the largest US military base in the region — ever since Saudi Arabia first announced it would cut off relations with the country.Where Tillerson is concerned, the frustration goes both ways. Though Brian Hook, the State Department’s director of policy planning, told associates several weeks ago that the department had several people in the pipeline, few have been announced since, and the White House continues to resist Tillerson’s choices. The subsequent lack of appointees has only hurt the relationship between Tillerson and the Trump political team.The rant was a long time coming for Tillerson, whose quiet, sometimes mind-numbingly slow efforts to reorganize the State Department have clashed with the White House’s demands for the quick appointment of politically convenient appointees. Asked about how to lead a large organization during a time of crisis, he told students at his alma mater, the University of Texas, early a year ago: “You do have to communicate in times like this and you have to be visible”.