In what might be considered one of the dumbest things he has ever done, President Donald Trump issued an open challenge to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during an interview with Forbes magazine. The near-hour-long interview covered several subjects and contained plenty of the Trump-boasts we hear frequently:
I’ve had just about the most legislation passed of any president, in a nine-month period, that’s ever served. We had over 50 bills passed. I’m not talking about executive orders only, which are very important. I’m talking about bills.
The thing that is garnering the attention of the country is the IQ challenge. When discussing the recent news about Tillerson reportedly calling Trump a “moron,” Trump got bold and issued a direct challenge:
I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.
Over the weekend, reporters asked Trump about his relationship with Tillerson. He replied:
We have a very good relationship. We disagree on a couple of things. Sometimes I’d like him to be a little bit tougher. But other than that, we have a very good relationship.
Recent events might cause suspicions on that front. Trump has been actively causing disruption in talks with North Korea, which undermines Tillerson and anything the State Department might be working on. In Forbes, they discussed it and got Trump’s opinion. He thinks he’s helping… how precious.
Or denigrating your own team. In any situation, Trump must be the alpha dog. Delegation isn’t his strong suit. Witness what happened when Tillerson apparently reopened a dialogue with the North Koreans. “He was wasting his time,” Trump now says. But doesn’t publicly upbraiding his top diplomat effectively neuter him? “I’m not undermining,” Trump says. “I think I’m actually strengthening authority.” It’s hard to see whose authority he’s strengthening, other than his own.
According to others in Washington D.C., Trump’s constant tweeting is hurting our relationship with allies and enemies and is completely undermining the people he has appointed to represent our country. In an interview with Senator Bob Corker, The New York Times reports:
The senator, who is close to Mr. Tillerson, invoked comments that the president made on Twitter last weekend in which he appeared to undercut Mr. Tillerson’s negotiations with North Korea.
“A lot of people think that there is some kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ act underway, but that’s just not true,” Mr. Corker said.
Without offering specifics, he said Mr. Trump had repeatedly undermined diplomacy with his Twitter fingers. “I know he has hurt, in several instances, he’s hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out,” Mr. Corker said.
So, while the country worries about whether or not Trump will land us in the middle of World War III, Trump wants to whip it out and measure to see who has the bigger… ummm… IQ… yeah… let’s go with that.