Scarborough: 'Let Tillerson Do His Job or Name Kushner Secretary of State'

June 29, 2017

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough blasted President Donald Trump on Thursday for not letting his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, do his job.

Scarborough said Tillerson was being "set up for failure," so that Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, could be the de facto secretary of state.

The show's panel was responding to a Politico article detailing an outburst that Tillerson had last Friday towards Johnny DeStefano, the head of the presidential personnel office, for "torpedoing proposed nominees to senior State Department posts and for questioning his judgment."

"Rex Tillerson is an accomplished 65-year-old guy who ran one of the world's largest companies and he's been treated lately like a GS-12," said columnist Mike Barnicle.

Co-host Willie Geist said Tillerson was not frustrated by ego as the article suggested, but just wanted to do his job and have all the necessary tools.

"He has been set up, Mark Halperin, for failure," Scarborough said. "He's been set up for failure and it's happening every day. They're not even letting him put his people in after Donald Trump promised him that he would be able to pick people that were running the State Department with him."

"Rex Tillerson, Mika, has been working very well with General [James] Mattis, with [Defense] Secretary Mattis. Those two are in constant communication," Scarborough said. "They're trying to work through problems and yet they can't get the president of the United States to give them the people they need to make America strong, to make America safe because he's got this freakish idea that he's going to let his son-in-law run America's foreign policy."

Scarborough said later in the segment that four Trump administration officials told him that Kushner was going to be the de facto secretary of state.

"Donald Trump and Jared Kushner's idea has been from the very beginning that he would be the secretary of state and they would just get somebody that would go around the world and smoke cigars with leaders, slap them on the back, but all the business was going to be done by Jared," he said.

"Let Rex Tillerson do his job or name Jared Kushner secretary of state," Scarborough added. "Rex, you're either secretary of state or you're not secretary of state, and if they're not going to let you be secretary of state, go home. You've deserved it. Have your retirement. Enjoy yourself."