Tillerson Never Wanted US State Secretary Job, 'Stunned' by Offer

After a meeting with the then-president-elect, Tillerson said he was "stunned" when Trump asked him to be secretary of state. The former CEO of Exxon Mobil, the world's largest oil explorer, said he had planned to retire from business in March of this year and "go to the ranch to be with my grandkids".

Read the full interview here. Tillerson has been the subject of heavy criticism since taking the post as the country's top diplomat at the beginning of February.

In an interview with the conservative-leaning Independent Journal Review published Tuesday night, Tillerson said, "I didn't want this job". "My wife convinced me", said Tillerson.

President Trump's first budget proposals include a significant 28% cut to the state department's budget, and Mr Tillerson noted "we haven't gotten that far yet" when asked about how the proposed cuts would impact his department.

Mr Tillerson said he had never met the President before the election.

When Tillerson told Clair about the job offer, she replied saying "I told you God's not through with you".

Going into the trip, Tillerson had already raised eyebrows by refusing to take along a conventional press attachment, opting instead to bring along a lone reporter from a right-leaning publication known to be favourable to the administration.

Other options include imposing tax or other restrictions on big U.S. firms operating in China, or limiting their access to China's fast-growing services sector, they added.

Premier Li Keqiang said last week that Beijing did not want to see a trade war with the United States and urged talks between both sides to achieve common ground. I personally don't need it.

Complicating Tillerson's visit to Beijing, Trump, in his typical style, took to Twitter to say that "China has done little to help" on the North Korea issue. "I understand it's important to get the message of what we're doing out, but I also think there's only a goal in getting the message out when there's something to be done".

Mr Trump is expected to host President Xi Jinping next month. But when the subject came up in the interview, the IJR said: "He was so cagey when Russian Federation came up, for example, that his answer wasn't even worthy of inclusion".

  • Arturo Norris