Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly verbally exploded at the head of the President’s personnel office, Johnny DeStefano, last week for blocking Tillerson’s nominees to head State Department posts and questioning his judgement, according to a report from Politico.
Tillerson allegedly shouted at DeStefano in front of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, top aide Jared Kushner and Tillerson’s chief of staff Margaret Peterlin, and told him he didn’t want DeStefano to have “any role in staffing” the State Department, according to a Politico sources who were familiar with the meeting.
Tillerson was so infuriated that Kushner told Peterlin his behavior was unprofessional and needed to be addressed, Politico’s sources said.
The outburst comes after months of Tillerson reportedly expressing frustration with his new role. While President Donald Trump promised him autonomy in his department, Tillerson has complained about the White House trying to control his hiring process, Trump’s tweets and the working condition in the West Wing, according to Politico’s report. As the former CEO of ExxonMobil, the secretary of state has reportedly expressed frustration over taking orders from young political aides.
“Rex is a 65-year-old guy who worked his way up from the bottom at Exxon, and he chafes at the idea of taking orders from a 38-year-old political operative,” one of Politico’s sources said.