Tillerson’s Humiliating Exit Was Vintage Trump

And another one gone.

Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty

Rex Tillerson was the former chief executive of energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp. before he was the former secretary of state. Big jobs, both, and Tillerson looked and sounded every bit the corporate titan, with a leonine head framed by thinning white hair, chevron eyebrows, a soothing, basso Texas drawl, dark suits, and an easy self-assurance.

By the time Tillerson stood at a podium in the State Department briefing room on Tuesday after being fired by the president, he was a man so diminished and humiliated that he occasionally appeared to be out of breath, his voice shaky, his delivery dutiful and subdued.

After checking off a list of his accomplishments as secretary of state, Tillerson thanked everyone but the president. "I'll now return to private life as a private citizen," he said. "As a proud American. Proud of the opportunity I've had to serve my country." Then he left without taking any questions.