State Dept. surprised by Tillerson defending Trump

Tillerson Says Comey Firing Didn't Raise Alarms on Independence

The US President Donald Trump revealed some highly confidential information to the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak last week, said two US officials with knowledge of the subject.

That's basically what leftist media hack Chuck Todd asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on "Meet the Press" Sunday.

"The president, I think, has made it clear that he feels it's important that we reengage with Russia", Tillerson told NBC's "Meet The Press".

Trump fired Comey Tuesday in a move that sparked calls among some Democrats for a special prosecutor to be appointed in the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election.

McCain originally went after Tillerson for the secretary of state's assertion that "in some circumstances, if you condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values, we probably can't achieve our national security goals".

Tillerson acknowledged that sour relations between Russian Federation and the US are "not healthy for the world" or for USA national security, but he was sober in his assessment of the future.

However, "it's inconclusive as to what, if any, effect it had", he added. The Secretary of State has previously said he is committed to improving relations, but he tempered any expectations for a Russian "reset" like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempted in 2009.

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Trump's presidency has been dogged by the Russian-meddling allegations and investigations by the FBI and congressional committees about contacts between his associates and Russian officials.

Tillerson said the Washington political debate over Comey's firing does not affect him and his relationship with Trump.

The agenda for Trump's trip, which includes visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, is meant to "bring a message of unity among all of these people of faith, among these great religions", Tillerson said.

Mr McMaster clarified his comments on Tuesday, saying: "What I'm saying is really the premise of that article is false".

But Tillerson reiterated his belief that those values should not determine foreign policy. "Policy has to be tailored to the individual situation".

"I will never compromise my own values, Chuck", Tillerson said.

Trump is "listening to input from all interested parties in the region and understanding, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have", he said.

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