Former Trump administration officials are trading blows this week over allegations of potential attempts to undermine President Donald Trump.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s first secretary of state, struck out Monday at former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, whose newly released memoir, “With All Due Respect,” implicated him in these alleged subversion attempts.
“During my service to our country as the Secretary of State, at no time did I, nor to my direct knowledge did anyone else serving along with me, take any actions to undermine the President,” Tillerson said in a statement to The Washington Post.
“Once the president made a decision,” Tillerson said, “we at the State Department undertook our best efforts to implement that decision.”
“Ambassador Haley was rarely a participant in my many meetings,” he added.
According to Haley, however, Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly asked her to aid them in keeping certain presidential directives from coming to fruition.
The two Cabinet officials allegedly justified their resistance as an attempt “to save the country,” Haley wrote in her book, according to The Post.
“It was their decisions,” the former ambassador continued, “not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing.”
Tillerson was not the only former high-level official to issue a quick denial of Haley’s claims.
Kelly also rebuked the allegations, claiming in a statement to CBS News the only “stalling” he had ever done was in the name of “putting a staff process in place … to ensure the [president] knew all the pros and cons of what policy decision he might be contemplating so he could make an informed decision.”
Tillerson, Haley and Kelly’s successive departures from the Trump White House began early last year.
Tillerson was fired by the president in March 2018 following months of tension with Trump on matters of foreign policy. He was replaced by current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Kelly was forced out at the end of 2018.
Haley, on the other hand, was the only one of the three to take her leave completely independently, having announced her departure during a news conference with Trump in October 2018.
There has been much speculation in light of Haley’s departure as to whether the former South Carolina governor is considering a presidential run of her own in the future.
Such a campaign would likely not occur until at least 2024, however, as Haley told the nation in October that she looked “forward to supporting the president in the next election,” according to The Post.
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