New York Time Columnist Bret Stephens compared Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the murderous Cambodian dictator Pol Pot on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“Tillerson seems to be of a kind of Maoist school, maybe it’s Pol Pot,” Stephens said Tuesday. Co-host Joe Scarborough appeared shocked at the comparison and laughed nervously, causing Stephens to walk back his comment almost immediately.
“I don’t mean the killing fields, I mean the year zero mentality,” Stephens said. “Which is blow it all up. See what happens, wait for a while and then try to arrange pieces as you see fit. That might work in a start up environment, it doesn’t work in a bureaucracy.”
Pol Pot was a communist dictator in Cambodia whose policies are said to have killed millions of his own citizens.
Stephens also said Tillerson was possibly the worst Secretary of State in American history.
“I was a stern critic of John Kerry but I think Tillerson really is up there as a nominee for worst Secretary of State ever,” Stephens said. He continued to criticize Tillerson, claiming his beliefs to be contrary to the mission of the State Department.
“The State Department is also part of the machinery of government, and that machinery has to run in order for normal things to happen like having relationships with foreign countries,” Stephens said. “Tillerson turns out to be a Bannon-ite in this respect. The suspicion of the so called deep state. The idea that every bureaucrat is in it for himself. There’s no sort of spirit of public interest.”
When the panel returned from commercial break, Stephens admitted he overstepped with his comments.
“I went a little far with Pol Pot,” he concluded.
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