‘Rex, eat the salad’: Trump ordered Tillerson to eat wilted greens to avoid offending Chinese hosts
A new report in the Wall Street Journal claims that President Donald Trump ordered outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to eat wilted vegetables that were served to the two men by Chinese hosts.
Sources tell the Journal that Trump and Tillerson were served a limp-looking Cesar Salad last November while in China as part of a five-nation tour of Asia.
Trump feared that leaving the salads alone would offend their Chinese hosts, but he didn’t want to be the one to take the plunge himself.
“Rex, eat the salad,” Trump told his secretary of state.
Elsewhere in the Journal’s reporting, it is revealed that Tillerson was frustrated that his efforts to shape diplomacy were frequently undercut by younger Trump aides such as Steven Miller and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who both worked to sabotage his initiatives to varying degrees.
Additionally, Tillerson never got along with career State Department employees, who often believed that he was more interested in gutting their agency than in conducting international diplomacy.
“The former Exxon Mobil chief executive struggled to appeal to career officials at the State Department, some of whom felt that Mr. Tillerson often ignored their policy advice,” reports the Journal. “Many senior staff have departed and several top positions that require Senate confirmation remain vacant. About one-third of the 152 key positions at the State Department requiring Senate confirmation have no nominee.”