.. Using the phrases “axis of adults” and “adults in the room” has become a common trope in Washington these days
.. But in Tillerson’s case, being a diplomat goes hand-in-hand with serving as the janitor, on hand to clean up the mess.
When Trump’s adversarial telephone conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was leaked, Tillerson and Mattis teamed up to offer assurances that the longstanding relationship between Washington and Canberra was and will remain solid.
.. At the same time that Trump was calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un names and tweeting that Pyongyang would be destroyed if it dared to threaten the United States, Tillerson was dialing back the rhetoric
.. Kim Jong-un is obsessively paranoid about the possibility of a U.S. invasion, so Tillerson’s State Department released statements expressing the clear view that Washington has no interest in overthrowing the government in Pyongyang or converting North Korea into some kind of U.S.-imposed democratic utopia. All Washington wants, Tillerson said, was the Kim regime’s denuclearization.