The question to Rex Tillerson was polite, if a bit direct. And it was certainly logical.
Donald Trump and his secretary of state seem to disagree on pretty much everything important, from how to handle the North Korean stand-off and the Iran nuclear deal to American participation in the Paris climate accord. In addition to their public disagreements, the US secretary of state has reportedly called his boss a “moron” in a Pentagon conversation about national security.
Now, word persists that Trump will soon dump Tillerson, with more rumors resurfacing last month after the New York Times reported he could be replaced (paywall) by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Today (Dec. 18), a French reporter posed the natural question to Tillerson at a State Department photo-op with the French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The exchange was captured in an official State Department transcript and in a video for the record:
“Bonjour, Monsieur Secretary”
The internet was both tickled and appalled.
Questions still loom as to the secretary’s future, but one thing for sure is reinforced by the dialogue: Even in the face of a curt response, always say thank you.