In an interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked about the controversy the president has found himself embroiled in since the tragic events in Charlottesville, Vir. two weeks ago.
Wallace, referencing a U.N. committee on racism’s galling warning to the United States, asked Tillerson whether the U.N. and the world are justified in showing doubt Americans live the values we stand for.
Tillerson responded, “I don’t think anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government and its agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.”
Wallace then pointedly asked about the president’s values, to which Tillerson said starkly, “The president speaks for himself.”
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) August 27, 2017
Tillerson went on to clarify, “I have made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week.”
In the speech, Tillerson said in part,
“We do honor, protect and defend freedom of speech, First Amendment rights,” he said. “It’s what sets us apart from every other government regime in the world, in allowing people a right to expression. These are good things.
“But we do not honor, nor do we promote or accept hate speech in any form. And those who embrace it poison our public discourse and they damage the very country that they claim to love. So we condemn racism, bigotry in all its forms. Racism is evil; it is antithetical to America’s values. It’s antithetical to the American idea.”
In the speech, he also noted the State department has a diversity problem and has laid out new guidelines for hiring in order to address the disparity.
Drawing such a fine demarcation between the president and the rest of the administration, the government, and the American people is the smallest of relieving statements that President Trump’s posture and comments are not in line with most of America, as his abysmal approval numbers indicate.