Sunday, June 4, 2017
The bottleneck in Rex Tillerson’s State Department
From Politico by E Johnson MCrowley
When former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who successfully promoted Rex Tillerson for her old job during the presidential transition, tried to reach him last month, it was an aide to his chief of staff Margaret Peterlin who called back, asking what Rice wanted to discuss.
The episode illustrates the difficulty even close allies are having reaching Tillerson, a diplomatic and political novice, as they try to help him find his footing at the State Department. While the former ExxonMobil chief has developed a close relationship with President Donald Trump, he hasn’t done the same with his own staff or experienced outside advisers, choosing instead to lean heavily on Peterlin and policy chief Brian Hook, according to 11 current and former administration officials as well as national security experts who interact regularly with the department.