Trump’s dismissal of Tillerson last week through a tweet drew the ire of many lawmakers, such as Senator Patrick Leahy who accused the president of running the US government like "an erratic ratings-driven TV impresario." Leahy added that while firing Tillerson via Twitter might make for great television ratings, it is destabilizing.
TWEETED OUT OF OFFICE
Trump’s unprecedented action in informing his secretary of state that had lost his job through a Twitter message recalled the popular persona he developed on the long-running hit television entertainment show "The Apprentice," retired professor of neurology and political commentator John Walsh told Sputnik.
"In fact it is like The Apprentice where firings occurred all the time — and maybe it is the way he ran his businesses," Walsh said. "It certainly means that no one wants to offend the boss too much lest their head is the next to roll."
It was still too soon to assess the significance of Trump’s choice of previous CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson as secretary of state, Walsh said.
"If Pompeo was made secretary of state because of his hawkishness, then it is very bad. If Pompeo was put there because he is a consistent ‘yes man’ for The Donald, then the appointment is irrelevant," he said.
Above all else, Trump demanded public and private loyalty and respect from his most senior officials and Tillerson had refused to provide it, Walsh explained.
"On this view Tillerson was a dead man walking the day he called Trump a ‘moron’ and refused to take it back," he said.
In selecting CIA Deputy Director Gina Haskel as Pompeo’s successor, Trump is seeking to satisfy his hardline nationalist supporters, Walsh pointed out.
"The new head of CIA is a certified hands-on torturer — but hey, she is a woman. So the Identity Politics people in the Democratic Party and elsewhere must see [her appointment] as ‘progressive,’" he said.
California State University Chico Professor Emeritus of Political Science Beau Grosscup told Sputnik that Tillerson had made a fatal political mistake in not recognizing that Trump demanded full compliance and unquestioning loyalty from him.
"This is mostly a personality shift. Tillerson was gone because he… challenged him on occasion, such as on the Iran nuclear deal. Pompeo is only the next person to either 'serve' Trump or he too is gone," he said.
"The North Korea meeting if it ever happens is at best a 'meet and greet' session to put the spotlight on Trump for a day or two as a 'statesman' for egotistical reasons only… Remember, President Trump said, 'I'm the only one who matters,’" he said.
However, seeing the Trump-Kim meeting in these terms increased the risks of a breakdown in negotiations that could dangerously increase nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula, Grosscup warned.
"The worry is Trump comes out of the meeting with no 'agreement' saying, ‘See, I tried diplomacy,’" he said.
Trump has accepted an invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un by the end of May.