Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump in October 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)

Soon-to-be-former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the fatal mistake of mentioning Russia’s alleged involvement in the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in England earlier this month. Despite all signs pointing to Russia, the Trump administration has been adamant that while it was standing with the United Kingdom, it weren’t going to rush to judgment and blame the Russians, despite the clues—including a blinking road sign indicating that Russia did this.

Probably didn’t help matters that Tillerson at one time famously—well, it’s still allegedly, but we totally know that Tillerson did that shit—called Donald Trump a “fucking moron.”

But here is arguably the best story that shows how Trump’s relationship with Tillerson goes much deeper than expecting him to ignore Russia’s manipulation of our politics or the U.K.’s: According to the Wall Street Journal, during a meeting with the Chinese, Trump went all Ike Turner on Tillerson and demanded that he eat the salad:

Mr. Trump, in the midst of a five-country tour of Asia, grew concerned the untouched greens would offend the Chinese, according to people familiar with the matter. So he ordered Mr. Tillerson to start. “Rex,” he said, “eat the salad.”

Tillerson is said to have “laughed off the remark,” but that’s what people who are in uncomfortable relationships do. They always act as if their tormentor is really a comical person whose jokes no one else gets.


I wish Tillerson had turned to Trump and shouted: “Come on, you high, Donald! You embarrassing me.”

To which Donald would have replied: “See, that. White man ask him to open his mouth, he sing all gotdamn day long. I ask him to open his mouth, he won’t say nothing.”

Wait, there appears to be actual footage of the moment Trump tried to feed Tillerson the salad:

I’m glad that Tillerson found his way out of this relationship. During a press conference, Tillerson reportedly said, “I’ll give up all that other stuff, but I keep my name. I worked too hard for it.”