WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R)- AR had some strong words for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Monday: Get on board the Trump Train or get out.
In an interview with Politico (http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/09/tom-cotton-senate-trump-whisperer-215692) Cotton said if Tillerson and Mattis can’t align themselves with the president’s stance on removing the United States from the Iran nuclear accord they’d be better off finding themselves a new job.
“They understand they’re not the president. Donald Trump is the president. Their job is to advise. His job is to decide,” Cotton told Politico.
“When you think the president is wrong, you have a duty to try to present to him the best facts and the best thinking to help him see it in a different light. Maybe you can, but if he doesn’t, and he says, ‘No, I want to do it my way,’ then your job is to move out and execute. And if you feel strongly enough, then you have to resign,” he continued.
Cotton also called out Mattis’ public comments that staying in the Iran nuke deal was “in the national interest.”
“On that specific point, I simply disagree with him,” Cotton said of Mattis’ assertion. “At root, though, we don’t have secretaries of state and secretaries of defense to make these decisions. We elect a president, who’s democratically accountable to the American people. And they say, in baseball, that the longest 18 inches is the difference between the assistant coach’s seat on the bench and the manager’s seat. That it’s the difference between advising and deciding. Same thing is true at the National Security Council table.”
Iran “is on the president’s mind right now, probably more than anything,” Cotton added.
Cotton’s comments come on the heels of last week’s controversy after published reports suggested that Tillerson had considered resigning out of frustration with Trump, allegations that Tillerson vehemently denied.
“There has never been a consideration in my mind to leave,” Tillerson said of the controversy speaking from a podium in the Treaty Room of the State Department.
“I serve at the appointment of the president and I am here for as long as the president feels I can be useful to achieving his objectives.”