Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told lawmakers that Russian President Vladimir Putin was more prepared than President Donald Trump for their meeting in Hamburg, Germany, putting USA officials at a disadvantage, a Democratic House Foreign Affairs committee aide told CNN Wednesday.
But Trump rejected Tillerson's assessment.
In December 2016, when Trump was considering Tillerson for the position, the then president-elect tweeted about him glowingly. In October 2017, he issued a public statement complimenting the president after multiple reports said that he had privately called Trump "a moron".
Tillerson gave an account of the 2017 G-20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, during his seven-hour, closed-door testimony before Congress on Tuesday, aides said in a Washington Post report. "There was a discrepancy in preparation, and it created an unequal footing". I don't think Putin would agree. Although no details regarding the topics of discussion were available, The Daily Beast reported that Tillerson's time working in the Trump administration, and "the frictions" he had with Jared Kushner - the president's son-in-law were on the agenda. Look how the U.S. is doing!
Engel, along with ranking member Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, met with Tillerson for an hour on Tuesday before Tillerson spent six hours fielding questions from the committee attorneys.
"We did very well at those meetings", he said, according to the newspaper.
Trump called Tillerson "dumb as a rock" and "totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State", even though he supported Tillerson through a Senate confirmation and hired him personally.
Kushner, who is married to President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, is a senior White House adviser on foreign policy.
Trump fired Tillerson by tweet on March 13, 2018, over their differing opinions involving trade negotiations and diplomatic efforts in North Korea.