Rex Tillerson: 'I didn't want this job …"
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Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson has said he did not want to be US secretary of state and only took the job because his wife convinced him to do it.
The former ExxonMobil oil executive revealed his initial reluctance in an interview published after a controversial trip to Asia and hours before the biggest event of his two months at the state department, an international meeting on Wednesday about how to fight Islamic State (Isis), as reported in The Guardian.
“I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job,” Tillerson told the Independent Journal Review (IJR), in an interview conducted on his official plane during the three-nation Asia trip. “My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.”
“When Trump asked me at the end of that conversation to be secretary of state, I was stunned,” he said, adding that at 65 years old, at the end of a four-decade career at ExxonMobil, he had expected to retire: “I was going to go to the ranch to be with my grandkids.”
Tillerson has been heavily criticized since taking the post as secretary of state in February and has been left left out of several critical foreign policy decisions made in the administration, as the travel ban for refugees and visitors from Muslim-majority countries.
He has been also criticized for not taking press corps with him on his Asia tour, breaking with decades-old practice. The sole exception was the journalist from the IJR, a Republican-friendly outlet.
Tillerson's trip to Asia ended last week with more controversy, since it was announced that he would skip his first Nato foreign ministers’ meeting in early April in Brussels so he could be in Florida for Trump’s first meeting with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
As reported in The Guardian.