A Washington Post article published Thursday revealed a curious tidbit about President Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
In the piece, penned by reporters Anne Hearan and Carol Morello, Tillerson is described as spending his first several weeks at the State Department “isolated,” and “walled off” from the agency’s bureaucrats.
According to the report, his “distant management style has created growing bewilderment among foreign officials” and “threatens to undermine the power and reach of the State Department.”
But the impact of Tillerson’s reclusiveness does not only threaten the State Department’s interactions with foreign diplomats, it also reportedly threatens basic, day-to-day, human interactions expected of anyone in a typical workplace environment.
Per the Post: “Many career diplomats say they still have not met him, and some have been instructed not to speak to him directly — or even make eye contact.”
Tillerson previously riled feathers when he unilaterally decided he didn’t really have much of a “need” for media, as though his disinterest in entertaining journalists is the only pertinent element in this whole First Amendment thing. And—as expected—the news that the disposition of the nation’s top diplomat precludes eye contact and other forms of communication set Twitter ablaze:
Do not look at Happy Fun Ball or Rex Tillerson https://t.co/MWl4wvzhVG— Jonathan Chait (@Jonathan Chait) 1490925792.0
Career diplomats at the State Department when Rex Tillerson walks through the hallways... https://t.co/o0qKkp2145— Matt Viser (@Matt Viser) 1490925912.0
Yes, it's possible that Tillerson is Medusa and the order not to look at him in the eyes is for the good of State D… https://t.co/v9JH9VQkmR— Jeet Heer (@Jeet Heer) 1490924711.0
You know what happens when you make eye contact with a T-Rex https://t.co/pcUymCpBqP— Ben Shapiro (@Ben Shapiro) 1490926364.0
Looks like J-Lo and Rex Tillerson have something in common after all. https://t.co/pzkLNOcJsm— Kate Aronoff (@Kate Aronoff) 1490926766.0
The deconstruction of the administrative state at the State Department: some employees told not to look at Tillerson https://t.co/zvirCbKixw— Gabriel Sherman (@Gabriel Sherman) 1490925358.0
Everything is fine at the State Department. Maybe just don't make eye contact with Rex Tillerson.… https://t.co/dqvlkDfsST— Andrew Katz (@Andrew Katz) 1490924444.0
Rule #2: Never feed Tillerson after midnight or allow him to touch water. https://t.co/F6Uf6SaosL— Dell Cameron (@Dell Cameron) 1490923603.0
In Rex Tillerson's defense, this is also how I ran the internship program at GQ. https://t.co/bOcYvgfz6f— Mark Byrne (@Mark Byrne) 1490922333.0
Rex Tillerson seems like a cool boss. https://t.co/WkAPUQcU1S https://t.co/LqkP3hzSOb— Bradford Pearson (@Bradford Pearson) 1490922277.0
Tillerson is Bizarro World Diplomat https://t.co/guT3szinFw— Clara Jeffery (@Clara Jeffery) 1490920471.0
@qhardy May be he would make an eye contact if his wife tells him to. That's how he agreed to do this job to begin with.— Chirag Mehta (@Chirag Mehta) 1490924794.0