Skip to Content
http://www.wgbh.org/authenticate/login
Listen
bpr-hr1-3_4.mp3

Did Jared Kushner Start The Rumors About Rex Tillerson's Ouster?

ap_17335552531836.jpg
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a media opportunity with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj at the State Department in Washington on Friday.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Listen
bpr-hr1-3_4.mp3

Rumors about Rex Tillerson’s allegedly impending ouster as secretary of state might have come from a source very close to the president, according to WGBH News analyst Charlie Sennott.

“Who would have leaked that? It’s Kushner,” Sennott said on Boston Public Radio today. “The theory is that Kushner leaked that ... because Kushner has a vision for a foreign policy in the Middle East that involves Saudi Arabia and Israel in an alliance against Iran. Tillerson doesn’t look at the Middle East so simplistically.”

Sennott explained how the rumors about Tillerson’s replacement by CIA Director Mike Pompeo started swirling last week, and although it’s “not at all clear” the ouster is going to happen, it’s “really possible.”

“Tillerson, as an oil man, really knows the Middle East. He understands the hydraulics of Shia and Sunni relations,” he said. “That was why I thought maybe we really might have a great secretary of state here, a guy from the business sector who really knows oil, who really understands the politics and knows how to do deals, how to make diplomatic agreements, because business people can be very very good at this.”

He said Tillerson’s ideas for diplomacy in the Middle East don’t align with Kushner’s plan, which Sennott called “dangerous.”

“Tillerson is the adult who knows the terrain,” he said. “Kushner is totally in over his head.”

Charlie Sennott is a news analyst here at WGBH, where he also heads up The GroundTruth Project. To hear his interview in its entirety, click on the audio player above.

Share

WGBH News coverage is a resource provided by member-supported public radio. We can’t do it without you.
Expand