Has Trump ever been prepared for a meeting?
Courtesy of WaPo:
Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared President Trump during a key meeting in Germany, putting the U.S. leader at a disadvantage during their first series of tête-à-têtes.
The U.S. side anticipated a shorter meeting for exchanging courtesies, but it ballooned into a globe-spanning two-hour-plus session involving deliberations on a variety of geopolitical issues, said committee aides, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Tillerson’s seven-hour closed meeting with the committee.
“We spent a lot of time in the conversation talking about how Putin seized every opportunity to push what he wanted,” a committee aide said. “There was a discrepancy in preparation, and it created an unequal footing.”
After hearing these remarks Trump, of course, claimed that he was prepared even though in the past he has bragged that he relies on his gut instincts.
Though Tillerson was careful not to openly criticize Trump during the meeting it was telling that he struggled to answer certain questions:
In one exchange, Tillerson said he and the president “shared a common goal: to secure and advance America’s place in the world and to promote and protect American values.”
“Those American values — freedom, democracy, individual liberty and human dignity — are the North Star that guided every action I took at the State Department,” Tillerson said, according to a person in the room.
Upon questioning, Tillerson clarified that although he and the president shared the same goal, they did not share the same “value system.”
When asked to describe Trump’s values, Tillerson said, “I cannot,” the person said.
“Just as matter of fact, he stated that he couldn’t or wouldn’t unpack the president’s values for us,” a committee aide said.
Yesterday Trump kind of defended himself without directly attacking Tillerson, but that changed today.
Rex Tillerson, a man who is “dumb as a rock” and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State, made up a story (he got fired) that I was out-prepared by Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany. I don’t think Putin would agree. Look how the U.S. is doing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 23, 2019
“Dumb as a rock.”
Ever notice that Trump has no problem insulting the intelligence and integrity of the people who used to work for him, even though he was the guy who hired them in the first place?