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Other photos Trump could’ve picked to say he won’t fire Rex Tillerson

By Johnny Simon
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Yesterday, Donald Trump rebuffed reports that he was looking to oust Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state.

The past few months have been filled with reports of Tillerson’s dissatisfaction with his role, reportedly calling Trump a “moron,” and considering resignation. But on Instagram and Twitter, Trump has stated that he will not fire Tillerson, using the gaudy, glitchy image macro style that has found a home on the Trump administration’s social media feeds.

To illustrate his unwavering trust and confidence in his chief diplomat, Trump tweeted this message:

The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon – FAKE NEWS! He’s not leaving and while we disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!‬

On Instagram, his message was paired with this photo:

The posted image shows Trump and vice president Mike Pence casting icy glances as Tillerson takes his oath of office. They stand on one side of the room, and Tillerson on the other. In the middle, Tillerson’s wife Renda St. Clair is the only one smiling. Outside it’s dark.

To make the case that Trump and Tillerson have a functional working relationship, Trump might have chosen a more genial, warmer image—perhaps one where they’re on the same side, at least literally. To find one, we looked at pictures of their moments together over the past year.

Some bitter, some sweet, some just uncomfortable, here are a few other perspectives on the president’s relationship to his current secretary of state.

The secretary’s side-eye

Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
A cabinet meeting at the White House on Oct. 16.

An arms-length hug

Reuters/Pool/Jim Lo Scalzo
Trump greets Steve Mnuchin (C) and Rex Tillerson (R) after delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Literally laughing behind the president’s back

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
At the U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines Nov. 13.

The proud dad

Reuters/Carlos Barria
At Tillerson’s swearing-in ceremony on Feb. 1.

Passing notes

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Tillerson hands Trump a note in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

That time that they almost, kinda, wore the same tie

Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
Trump talks with Tillerson at the White House.

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