In a closed-door interview with House Foreign Affairs Committee last month, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told lawmakers that President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner did not alert him to a meeting in May 2017 with rulers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, reports the Washington Post.
According to the newly-released transcript, Tillerson told the panel that Kushner did not alert him to conversations with foreign leaders, including meetings with officials from Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Tillerson told lawmakers it angered him that he was left in the dark about key policy decisions.
LAWMAKER: “What’s your reaction to a meeting of that sort having taken place without your knowledge?” …
TILLERSON: “It makes me angry.”
The 145-page transcript is redacted in some parts to conceal sensitive information.
According to Axios:
- On one occasion, Kushner and former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon attended a dinner with the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that saw the Gulf officials lay out their plans for a blockade of Qatar — which the White House supported. Tillerson said he was not aware of the dinner and had not heard about the plans for the blockade.
- In another occasion, Tillerson said he walked into a restaurant in Washington for a business meeting to find Kushner and the foreign secretary of Mexico dining at a back table. The foreign secretary was apparently under the impression that the State Department knew about the meeting and was “shocked” to find that Tillerson was left in the dark.
“I could see the color go out of the face of the foreign secretary of Mexico as I very — I smiled big, and I said: ‘Welcome to Washington.’ And I said: ‘I don’t want to interrupt what y’all are doing.’ I said: ‘Give me a call next time you’re coming to town.’ And I left it at that.”