• NBC News: The Arizona Republican Party will vote on a measure to censure Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, on January 23, in part because of her support for President-elect Joe Biden and for same-sex marriage.
• The Hill: Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing for the role of Transportation secretary will be held Thursday. If he’s approved, Buttigieg will be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary to be confirmed by the Senate.
• BosGuy: The veteran Boston blogger celebrates Furry Friday and we’re all the better for it 🙂
• New York Times: Prosecutors in Georgia appear increasingly likely to open a criminal investigation of President Trump over his attempts to overturn the results of the state’s 2020 election, an inquiry into offenses that would be beyond his federal pardon power.
• People: In a new interview, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson does not hold back saying Donald Trump is “grossly limited in his ‘understanding of global events, his understanding of global history’ and hamstrung by his own attention span.”
• Arkansas Online: Peter Francis Stager, 41, caught on video using an American flag and flagpole to beat a police officer during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot was arrested by federal authorities Thursday night. Remember, these are the folks who were upset at people taking a knee during a football game.
• InstaHunks: The Griffopotamus dropped his phone and it still takes great snaps (above). Maybe if I drop MY phone my pics will come out this good, too…?
• OUT: Mey Rude wonders aloud, “Ellen DeGeneres was a lesbian hero – but who is she now? She broke ground 20 years ago, but her recent actions and words have me rethinking her lesbian icon status.”
• Bloomberg: Donald Trump pressed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to help persuade the Justice Department to drop a criminal case against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was a client of Rudy Giuliani, according to three people familiar with the 2017 meeting in the Oval Office. Tillerson refused. The report adds others present in the Oval Office were shocked by the request.
• ABC News: Montgomery, Alabama, once known as the cradle of the Confederacy and later the birthplace of the civil rights movement, has elected Steven Reed as its first African American mayor in the city’s 200-year history.
Montgomery, Alabama, once known as the cradle of the Confederacy and later the birthplace of the civil rights movement, has elected Steven Reed as its first African American mayor in the city’s 200-year history. https://t.co/PjcVnDIRzjpic.twitter.com/898HkTThcj
• Facebook: Evangelist Franklin Graham recently opined about a CNN article that reported how three particular STIs – gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis – are at all-time highs in the U.S. in 2018, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Graham wrote that the solution to preventing STIs is heterosexual monogamy: “God made us male and female and gave sex for us to enjoy inside a marriage relationship between a man and a woman — not two men, not two women.”
• Fox News: According to a new Fox News poll (FOX NEWS y’all), 51 percent wants Trump impeached and removed from office, 4 percent want him impeached but not removed, and 40 percent oppose impeachment altogether. In July, just 42 percent favored impeachment and removal.
• Queerty: Indie movie maven and sometime drag performer Tyler Perry has announced the opening of a 12-sound stage 330-acre movie studio complex in Atlanta that will also feature a shelter for victims of sex trafficking and displaced LGBTQ youth.
Whoa – the Trumpster went on a rampage after hearing that his former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, criticized him for being “undisciplined” and happy to violate the law.
Trump, who famously told the world he only hires the “best,” criticized Tillerson for being “lazy” and not having the mental capacity for being Sec of State.
Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him. His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!
“What was challenging for me coming from the disciplined, highly process-oriented Exxon Mobil corporation,” Tillerson said, was “to go to work for a man who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of says, ‘This is what I believe.’”
Perhaps the most damning quote came when Tillerson talked about how Trump as president regularly attempted to do things that violated the law. “So often, the president would say, ‘Here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I want to do it’ and I would have to say to him, ‘Mr. President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law.”
WATCH: Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is speaking publicly about what led to his firing in March by President Trump.
Rex Tillerson took time today to give his colleagues at the state department a proper farewell as his tenure as Secretary of State comes to an end.
But as he ended his speech to state department employees, Tillerson offered a none-too-veiled swipe at President Trump before heading out the door.
Addressing the value of integrity and respect for others, Tillerson closed with this:
“This can be a very mean-spirited town,” he said, pausing to a round of applause, “but you don’t have to choose to participate in that. Each of us get to choose the person we want to be, and the way we want to be treated, and the way we will treat others.”
He also encouraged State Department employees to protect their personal integrity, which he called “the most valuable asset you possess.”
You’ll recall that Tillerson’s relationship with Trump had been troubled for some time. Last summer Tillerson reportedly called the Trumpster “a f*cking moron.”
And when it came time to fire Tillerson, Trump did the deed via Tweet. Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly made a point of telling the press that he officially informed Tillerson while on the toilet.
Tillerson now heads into what may be his retirement and great wealth. Last summer, there were reports that Tillerson was worth in the neighborhood of $300 million.
You can watch the full speech below as well as the end of his comments.
Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this morning and, according to reports, Tillerson found out when he saw the president’s tweet announcing the news.
Tillerson and Trump have often found themselves on opposing sides of foreign policy over the past year.
Just yesterday, NBC Newsreported that Tillerson had called the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter with a military-grade nerve agent in the U.K. “a really egregious act” that appears to have “clearly” come from Russia.
Trump said he wouldn’t condemn Russia until after reviewing the facts.
Donald Trump must have gotten a call from his boss Vladimir Putin in Moscow and been told to fire Tillerson.
Of course, you may recall that back in October of 2017 the story broke that Tillerson had called Trump “a moron.”
Moral of the story? You can call the president a moron and keep your job; blame Russia for poisoning an ex-spy and you’re out.
As had been rumored for months, CIA Director Mike Pompeo will become the new Secretary of State, and his Deputy Director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, will take the reins at CIA.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with President Trump has been strained, and replace him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, perhaps within the next several weeks, senior administration officials said on Thursday.
Mr. Pompeo would be replaced at the C.I.A. by Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who has been a key ally of the president on national security matters, according to the White House plan.
Mr. Cotton has signaled that he would accept the job if offered, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations before decisions are announced.
Tillerson has been known to call Trump a moron, so clearly, Trump is looking for someone less inclined to tell the truth.
Should Tillerson leave the State Department by the end of the year, it would be the shortest tenure of any secretary of state in 120 years not ended by a change of presidents.