In the space of only one week, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, flip-flopped on what the United States should do about Syria.
First, he indicated that the US would let Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad continue to slaughter his own people. Then, after Assad gassed them, the burly former CEO of Exxon Mobil said Assad had gone too far.
In a closely watched event, Tillerson met with his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Putin in the Kremlin. All eyes were on Tillerson, a man with no previous diplomatic experience. Tillerson and Putin have known each other for many years because of Exxon Mobil’s numerous business dealings in Russia.
After the meeting, Tillerson faced the cameras and said that relations between Russia and the United States are now at a new low.
However, not covered by the mainstream media at all, in a secret meeting between the diminutive Putin and Tillerson, associate solitary reporter Foma Kheroshonsky heard Putin say “Dammit, Rex, you come here and disrespect me by telling me what to do about Syria. You need to quit your job and go back to running Exxon Mobil. That’s something that would make me really happy.”
After thinking it over for ten seconds, Tillerson said, “That’s the nicest thing that any foreign leader has said to me since I took this job. The pay and benefits that come from running the world’s biggest oil company are so much better than the paltry salary I get now. I’m going back to Exxon Mobil.”
Putin gave him a bear hug and a free palatial apartment in Moscow’s finest hotel, the Hilton Leningradskaya Hotel, which was built in 1954 and was designed to be the finest luxury hotel in Russia’s capital city.
Tillerson, relieved of his heavy burden, called Trump and said, “Sir, I hate to put it to you like this, but I’m tired of getting my marching orders from you only by reading your tweets. I’m leaving your Cabinet, effective immediately.”
Trump’s response was characteristically decisive. “Rex, I never thought you were up to the job anyway. But I really appreciate you helping me get elected by getting Putin to support my campaign. Our mutual friend Carter Page helped a lot too. At least you stayed on the job longer than Flynn did.”
“Sir, I suggest you ask John McCain to replace me.”
“Not a bad idea. I’ll call John right now and tell him that his country needs him.”
What followed was a hastily arranged phone call from Trump to McCain. Given the strained relations between McCain and Trump, we cannot print the complete text of McCain’s response. Suffice it to say that Arizona’s senior senator, and the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said no, in no uncertain terms.
Trump then turned to Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (TP-North Carolina).
Meadows was astonished, but, knowing that he had to give Trump an immediate answer, said “Sir, I wasn’t expecting this, but I will be very glad to do it, with the understanding that I am going to take your America First Doctrine extremely seriously. Once I’m confirmed and sworn in, I’m never going to leave the country. I’ll just call up my counterparts among all the leading nations and tell them to go f___ themselves.”
Trump turned to his Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, and the two men gave each other high fives.