America’s chief diplomat so far appears allergic to the spotlight. His aloof approach to his job is eroding confidence in him at the State Department, multiple sources told POLITICO, where staffers are upset about President Donald Trump’s mixed foreign policy messages and his plans to significantly cut the agency’s budget.
“It’s making me anxious,” said one State Department official who, like most others serving, requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue…
Tillerson may be playing a long game. The former CEO of ExxonMobil has little diplomatic experience and is still learning about the composition of a department with more than 75,000 employees across the world. He’s also been in the job for only a few weeks. He also knows that both Republicans and Democrats in Congress will likely push back on Trump’s proposed budget cuts, whether or not he speaks up.
But to some, Tillerson’s outward silence implies consent. Amid the confusion and rumors, some State staffers say they wish Tillerson would hold a town hall or similar forum simply to clarify things. “It’s an outrageous cut,” one U.S. diplomat said. “It doesn’t speak to [Tillerson’s] having much heft within the administration.”