House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s past comments on ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson haunted her Tuesday after she cast the latest development as a form of capitulation to Russia.
Months of policy disagreements came to a head this week between President Trump and Mr. Tillerson in a single tweet: “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!”
Mrs. Pelosi released a statement which called the move an attempt to curry favor with Moscow, based on Mr. Tillerson’s criticism of the Kremlin over a nerve-agent attack on a Russian ex-spy in Britain.
“Secretary Tillerson’s firing sets a profoundly disturbing precedent in which standing up for our allies against Russian aggression is grounds for a humiliating dismissal,” the California Democrat wrote. “President Trump’s actions show that every official in his Administration is at the mercy of his personal whims and his worship of Putin.”
However, Mrs. Pelosi also had framed the former Exxon Mobil CEO’s hiring in a similar manner, the Washington Free Beacon was quick to note.
“Rex Tillerson’s cozy relationship with the Kremlin is especially alarming in light of his attitude toward sanctions over Russia’s aggressive behavior in Europe, while at the same time the President-elect continues to side with Russia over the judgment of the U.S. intelligence community,” she wrote Dec. 13, 2016. “Fawning over Putin is poor preparation for being the top diplomat of the United States of America.”
The political “Catch 22” created by Mrs. Pelosi comes as Democrats and Republicans continue to spar over Russian meddling into the 2016 election.
U.S. House intelligence committee Republicans concluded Monday that while the Kremlin definitely tried to interfere in the election and some Trump aides exercised some independent bad judgment on their ties to Russia, there was no collusion or collaboration between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s own investigation continues, as does Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s work at the FBI.