Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: "I didn't want this job"

When his wife tells him to.

Tillerson described how Trump, as president-elect, called a meeting with him.

Attorneys for teens who filed a climate change lawsuit against the USA are requesting the government and the American Petroleum Institute to hand over emails sent by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson using the alias "Wayne Tracker" while he was head of Exxon Mobil, the nonprofit Our Children's Trust said Monday.

In an interview with the conservative-leaning Independent Journal Review published Tuesday night, Tillerson said, "I didn't want this job". Speaking in a March 18 interview with a journalist from the conservative-leaning U.S. website Independent Journal Review who was accompanying him on his tour, Tillerson said Japan was "our [the US's] most important ally in the region", while describing South Korea as an "important partner relative to stability of Northeast Asia".

He said that he had planned on retiring this month - "I was going to go to the ranch to be with my grandkids" - before he received the unexpected job offer.

"When he asked me at the end of that conversation to be secretary of state, I was stunned", Tillerson confessed. "So I believe those points were well delivered by the secretary", he added. "She was right. I'm supposed to do this", he said.

"My wife convinced me", he continued. She was referring to recent reports suggesting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used a private email account during sensitive discussions with company executives.

The public quickly reacted to Tillerson's confession, which left people on Twitter either amused or dumbfounded.

But in the interview Mr Tillerson said: "I'm not a big media press access person".

"So I think we need to have a good defense".

But critics in the US are already saying that Mr Tillerson has conceded too much ground in his remarks in Beijing by mouthing China's characterisation of Sino-US ties - something which the previous US administration had rejected.

  • Leroy Wright