Tillerson on Trump's Commitment to American Values: 'The President Speaks for Himself'

Claudine Rigal
Août 27, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at the State Department on August 24.

"Does that make it harder for you to push American values around the world, when some foreign leaders question the president's values?"

TILLERSON: The president speaks for himself, Chris.

When host Chris Wallace asked whether Tillerson was "separating himself" from Trump's remarks, Tillerson answered, "I've made my own comment as to our values".

WALLACE: And when the president gets into the kind of controversy he does and the United Nations committee responds the way it does, it seems to say, they begin to doubt our - whether we're living those values.

Trump triggered outrage earlier this month when he suggested both sides were at fault after unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a woman was killed when a white supremacist drove his auto into a group of counter-protesters.

The U.S. commitment to tolerance and equality is unchanged, Tillerson said, in the wake of controversy over Trump's response to racially tinged violence.

Tillerson said the nation's commitment to fighting racial injustice is unquestioned, and that he doesn't "believe anyone doubts the American people's values" or the government's commitment to that goal.

The influential chief economic adviser to Donald Trump, Gary Cohn, has criticized the president this week, judging that he had to "do better" to condemn the white supremacist.

"Clearly, they are still messaging us, as well, that they are not prepared to completely back away from their positions", Tillerson said.

But despite Tillerson's bold statement, it is impossible to separate the State Department and Tillerson's office from Trump. That caused Trump to say that North Korea was finally "starting to respect us".

"We all know hate is not an American value".

One take, from CNN's Andrew Kaczynski: "POTUS decided he'd pardon Arpaio before case even went to trial".

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