In August of 2017, conservative writer Max Boot penned an op-ed slamming then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson as having proved himself a "failure at every aspect of being secretary of state," adding that he should "do the country a favor and resign." But in a piece published this Sunday in the Washington Post, Boot would like to offer Tillerson an apology -- an apology for "underestimating his virtues."
"Now that his successor as secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is verbally assaulting a reporter and refusing to defend a career ambassador from character assassination — and possibly worse — I miss ol’ Rex and his Boy Scout ethos," Boot writes.
Boot is referring to Pompeo's recent dust up with an NPR reporter, where he accused her of lying about questions regarding Ukraine in the run up to an interview. According to Boot, while Tillerson may have been in over his head during his time in President Trump's administration, "he was at least ethical and well-intentioned — and not afraid to stand up to President Trump."
"While Tillerson worked to restrain Trump from leaving the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord, Pompeo has been nothing but a smirking cheerleader for the president’s most pugnacious instincts," Boot writes. "He is, in fact, the mastermind behind a standoff that has left Iran closer to having a nuclear weapon than when Trump took office. His reward for being Trump’s enabler is to amass far more influence than Tillerson ever did. Pompeo is the most powerful member of the Cabinet, easily overshadowing the low-profile national security adviser and defense secretary. He is a virtual prime minister."
According to Boot, "Pompeo’s rise to preeminence has not served either the president or the country well."
"[Pompeo] had a front-row seat to Trump’s efforts to blackmail Ukraine into announcing an investigation of Joe Biden — and he did nothing to stop the unethical actions that have now gotten Trump impeached."
Read his full piece over at The Washington Post.