Trump on State Dept. Vacancies: 'I'm the Only One That Matters'

President also talked North Korea, Tillerson, and Putin during interview with Laura Ingraham
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2017 7:41 AM CDT
Trump on State Dept. Vacancies: 'I'm the Only One That Matters'
Trump talks to Laura Ingraham.   (YouTube)

President Trump sat down with Laura Ingraham Thursday night, and when the Fox News host pressed him on why there are still so many vacancies for top posts in the State Department, he seemed nonplussed. "Let me tell you, the one that matters is me," Trump said, per the Hill. "I'm the only one that matters because when it comes to it that's what the policy is going to be." He also reminded Ingraham that he comes from the business world and that he often tells his own teams, "When you don't need to fill slots, don't fill them." He also put some of the blame on "[Chuck] Schumer and the Democrats" for "obstructing" nominees he's made for these positions, though a Washington Post/Partnership for Public Service tracker points out he's made far fewer nominations than the four presidents before him by this time in their tenure.

Trump did touch upon one slot that's filled at State: Rex Tillerson's post. Per Politico, the president was asked if the secretary of state would remain with his administration "for the duration," to which Trump replied: "We'll see. I don't know who's going to be [here for the] duration." He did add that Tillerson was "working hard" and "doing his best." Also receiving mentions from Trump: Pyongyang and Putin. Trump called North Korea a "thing that I think we will solve," per Fox News. "If we don't solve it, it's not going to be very pleasant for them. It's not going to be very pleasant, I guess, for anybody," he said, without giving further details. As for the Russian president, Trump noted he wouldn't be against meeting with him during his upcoming trip to Asia. "Putin is very important because they can help us with North Korea," he said. RealClearPolitics has clips from the interview. (More President Trump stories.)

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