White House frustration grows with Tillerson over jobs for Trump allies

The White House is becoming increasingly frustrated with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and a close-knit circle of aides over the slow pace of hiring and a chokehold on information and access to Tillerson, according to senior Trump administration officials and others familiar with the rift.

Tillerson, a former Exxon Mobil chief executive with no prior government experience, gets some of the blame from White House officials and political advisers anxious to place Republican political appointees in numerous vacant positions at the State Department.

They said Tillerson’s deliberate approach to reviewing candidates and his insistence on a detailed department management review and reorganization, informed by his corporate background, has slowed down an already slow process.

Tillerson told Congress last week that dozens of candidates are moving through the system and that the biggest holdup is usually the onerous background paperwork required of new government hires.

But Tillerson also sketched a lengthy timeline for his internal review that would include a period of study and planning through 2017 and changes to the department’s structure and staffing next year. In some cases, senior jobs will remain vacant until then, if they are filled at all.
 

The White House is becoming increasingly frustrated with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and a close-knit circle of aides over the slow pace of hiring and a chokehold on information and access to Tillerson, according to senior Trump administration officials and others familiar with the rift.

 

 

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