In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Tillerson dismissed host Jake Tapper’s thinking that Trump has decided that diplomacy is a waste of time.
Tapper showed two tweets by the president that relayed a sentiment that Rex was wasting his time using diplomacy.
Tillerson responded saying that Trump was using rhetoric to hopefully get certain parties to take action and that the president wants diplomacy to succeed.
“He has made it clear to me to continue my diplomatic efforts,” Tillerson said. “Those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.”
The president often uses hyperbolic tweets and statements to either motivate others into action or to distract the media and opponents from his actual intentions.
Some are concerned that the president’s comments could confuse allies and make it more difficult to keep the Chinese engaged, but Tillerson made clear that isn’t a realistic concern.
“Rest assured that the Chinese are not confused in any way” about Trump’s policy towards North Korea.
The ongoing diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and North Korea resulted from Kim Jong-un’s continued nuclear weapons testing and the firing of sanctioned missiles – two of which went over Japan.
Here’s the full interview: