Rex Tillerson seemed to shock Fox host Chris Wallace today with a response as to whether Donald Trump’s values are America’s values.
Near the end of a 13-minute interview with Secretary of State Tillerson on Fox News Sunday, Wallace asked about Trump’s failure to whole-heartedly condemn racism and white supremacy (Transcript below via FoxNews.com)
WALLACE: Finally, and I got a little over a minute left, the controversy over the racial protest in Charlottesville and the president’s response to it has become an international issue. A U.N. committee this week criticized the Trump administration for, quote, its failure at the highest political level to unequivocally reject and condemn the racist violent events and demonstrations.
And here was the president in Phoenix this week talking more about the media than he was about the neo-Nazis and the Klan. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Does that make it harder for you to push American values around the world when some foreign leaders question the president’s values?
Tillerson’s answer all but announced that Trump’s values are not America’s values:
TILLERSON: Chris, we express America’s values from the State Department. We represent the American people. We represent America’s values, our commitment to freedom, our commitment to equal treatment of people the world over.
And that message has never changed.
I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.
WALLACE: And the presidents values?
TILLERSON: The president speaks for himself, Chris.
There was a pause, either because Wallace wanted to emphasize the drama of the moment or because he was genuinely shocked. But after a few beats, he stammered his next question:
WALLACE: Are you [pause] separating yourself from that, sir?
TILLERSON: I’ve spoken – I’ve made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week.
Wallace ended the interview.
Later, the Fox News Sunday panel discussed some of what Tillerson had said. But nobody commented about his “America's values” statement.
Think Tillerson’s damning words would have gone unremarked on any network that was not in the tank for Trump? No, me neither. Fortunately, they’re being widely reported and discussed elsewhere. Even FoxNews.com noted them.
Watch Tillerson all but disavow Trump’s values below, from the August 27, 2017 Fox News Sunday.