Social media users heaped scorn on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who refused to answer reporters’ questions on this week’s massacre in Syria.
The worst chemical attack in years left 58 dead, including 11 children, and White House Press Secretary Sean Spice blamed former President Barack Obama’s “weakness” rather than say whether the Trump administration believed Russian President Vladimir Putin had any role in the massacre.
A senior State Department official, speaking anonymously on background, described the attacks as “reprehensible,” but the chief diplomat offered no comments.
Tillerson, the notoriously silent top diplomat, simply sidestepped questions about Syria altogether during a photo opportunity Tuesday with Abdullah II of Jordan.
Secretary of State Tillerson just held a photo op.
When asked about the deadly Syrian chemical attack, he didn't comment & walked out. pic.twitter.com/inxJTb0K53
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) April 4, 2017
Twitter users were ashamed and outraged by Tillerson’s silence.
This is moral cowardice & strategically disastrous. When asked to comment on chemical gas war crimes, condemn them. https://t.co/zwAMPj0FLU
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) April 4, 2017
@secupp In Sec Tillerson's case…literal silence
— Eric Lopez (@ericlopez1925) April 4, 2017
Silence in the face of a massacre. Secretary Tillerson, resign. God may not be done with you, but I am. https://t.co/ffJ7oYOhOO
— GBliss (@GBliss) April 4, 2017
— Terri (@MyBeachChair) April 4, 2017
Rex Tillerson's silence is deafening and not what a Secretary of State should be doing in this situation. https://t.co/yyiJ00YhWS
— Daniel Hajjar (@DanielGHajjar) April 4, 2017
@nancyayoussef Msg received loud and clear: death of Arab innocents is acceptable collateral damage. It's all nonverbal comm w/ this admin.
— John Golub (@johnegolub) April 4, 2017
When not speaking to the media costs lives: Tillerson's silence will just encourage Assad to commit more war crimes against his people https://t.co/r98dxhOdFX
— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) April 4, 2017
— csd (@csd) April 4, 2017
@MarkWarner SYRIAN CHILDREN BEING GASSED AS I WRITE THIS. ASK YOUR FRIEND TILLERSON TO SPEAK OUT! What would a Boy Scout do? Pro lifers so hypocritical!
— Mad Sec Costumes (@madseccostumes) April 4, 2017
— skeptical brotha (@skepticalbrotha) April 4, 2017
What could happen to bring a response from Tillerson or Trump. https://t.co/NwCvtI4J7L
— Mark Stern (@mfstern) April 4, 2017
@PeterAlexander Tillerson is only in the picture for oil. Not SOS material. This whole administration is a farce.
— Snarky Kat (@sharkow53) April 4, 2017
— W. M. (@Minuteman04) April 4, 2017
— O Don't Go (@lolagirl2007) April 4, 2017
So why did Assad wait until Trump was president to start dropping gas again?
— Basque Cat (@gato_danger) April 4, 2017
— Kali_klik (@slak909) April 4, 2017
— Amr Khalifa (@Cairo67Unedited) April 4, 2017
Anyone surprised? Rex Tillerson was executive of a amoral company that basically raped and pillaged the entire fucking planet. Bar is low. https://t.co/rdvffn22Pd
— Michael Ostendorp (@MOstendorp) April 4, 2017