President Donald Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the latest sign that Trump is “he fundamentally lacks the temperament to be president of the United States.”
That’s according to Bruce Jentleson, a professor of public policy and political science and former senior adviser to the U.S. State Department policy planning director.
"I think it’s the latest sign of Trump’s impetuousness and the many ways in which, even beyond his position on any particular policy issue, he fundamentally lacks the temperament to be president of the United States.
"He does things on his own intuition and whims. Trump is a combination of thin skin and bully, and it’s just a bad combination for any person let alone the president of the United States. These are very scary characteristics of a president.”
Trump announced Tuesday he’d fired the former Exxon executive and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Jentleson said Tillerson was not an especially effective secretary of state over the past 14 months, but replacing him now with so many high-stakes issues in play is particularly troubling.
“It makes no sense to fire the secretary of state when you’re already under-staffed at the State Department and you have committed to talks with North Korea and everything else on the agenda.”
Unlike normal protocol that relies on months of preparation before such an announcement, Trump agreeing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was done on the fly like so many of his decisions, Jentleson said.
“Regarding the North Korea talks, of course we want to pursue diplomacy and not continue down this path, but this kind of move a president should never take without preparation and strategy,” he said. “If it fails and they can’t reach an agreement or Trump somehow is offended, the options are very scary as to what he may turn to then.”
Problems with Iran could also flare up with Tillerson out of the picture. Pompeo is against the Iran nuclear deal, and Jentleson worries his stand could lead to yet another crisis.
“Pompeo is a hawk and opposes the Iran deal. We could be looking at escalating two major conflicts at the same time with North Korea and Iran.”