The US political world is reeling after US President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Tuesday morning - and like sharks to chum, the most vocal proponents of Russiagate have rushed in to find a way to twist Tillerson's departure into evidence that the Trump campaign has been compromised by a shadowy Russian cabal.
There seem to be two arguments. The first is most loudly championed by journalist and hentai master Kurt Eichenwald: on Monday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson agreed with the assessment of the British government that Russia was the most likely culprit behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former British double agent embedded in the Russian military.
It's worth noting that while Tillerson agreed that the nerve agent used in the assassination "clearly came from Russia," he never actually blamed Moscow. He said the poison could have come from a "limited number of parties," implying that he thought Moscow was a suspect in Skripal's poisoning. Unlike London, he never labeled Russia as the culprit, he only said that it was possible.
Our president appointed as SecState the most Russia-adoring medal-wearing Russian Order of Friendship man he could find - and he wasn't sympathetic *enough*.
11:38 PM - Mar 13, 2018But Trump fired Tillerson anyways for criticizing his puppetmaster/benefactor/boyfriend Vladimir Putin, or so the story goes. In this version, Tillerson is a voice of reason in an administration compromised to the deepest level by Russia. But this would suggest that Trump has worked hard to improve the US relationship with Russia to appease his masters - and he really hasn't.
In April, Trump launched a cruise missile attack against a Syrian military air base - Syria, of course, is a close ally of Russia's. Trump signed into law strict punitive sanctions against Russia in July. Trump openly labeled Russia as one of the US' chief rivals in December. If this is what being Russia's best friend looks like, then we would hate to see Trump as Russia's "enemy."
With all of that in mind, it seems pretty far-fetched that Tillerson was fired for making some modestly chastising comments about Russia - something he and the rest of the White House have done on countless occasions. For example, when a package of US sanctions against Moscow passed in the summer, Tillerson called them a "message to Russia" and called on the Kremlin to "take steps to improve relations with the United States."
Eichenwald's never met a collusion fantasy he didn't run with. He was, in fact, fired from Newsweek after accusing former Sputnik editor of colluding the Trump campaign - with no evidence.
Eichenwald then offered the editor to help him get a job with New Republic when the editor threatened to take him to court over the unsupported claims - and when he refused, Eichenwald allegedly told him, "if you go public you'll regret it."
Oh, and let's not forget that Eichenwald was an early proponent of the notion that Tillerson was a Russian shill - which, of course, contradicts the rest of his already shoddily constructed narrative. Kurt, buddy, we get that you don't like Russia, but maybe you could put a little more effort into it ?
Well, it's over. Reports out that Trump appointed Rex Tillerson. We are now the United States of Russia. Estonia is doomed.
10:20 AM - Dec 11, 2016Kurt Eichenwald✔@kurteichenwald
By firing Tillerson one day after he publicly stated that Russia behind a WMD attack on British soil, we now have proof Trump is colluding with Putin. I don't know if he did in the election. But he is doing it NOW in front of our eyes. He is Kremlin-owned.
11:22 PM - Mar 13, 2018neontaster @neontaster
2016: Hiring Tillerson proves Putin is in charge
2018: Firing Tillerson proves Putin is in charge
4:42 AM - Mar 14, 2018
So Eichenwald's theory is transparently flawed. Perhaps the other one has some more veracity?
Well, not exactly. The other theory comes mostly from Sarah Kendzior, a journalist for the Globe and Mail and NBC. We swear to god we're not making this up: Tillerson was a Russian puppet who "purposefully gutted the State Department" so Russia could run roughshod over the American government. With his job finished, Tillerson has left the State Department to "reap the financial rewards" of civilian life.
As for Pompeo, he's also a Russian puppet because he met with the leaders of Russian intelligence in January. You may recall that Pompeo's old job (until this morning) was director of the CIA. You may be wondering how it's at all suspicious for the CIA director to meet with leaders of an intelligence-sharing partner's intelligence community. You may be putting more thought into this than Kendzior.
So the Kremlin Order of Friendship recipient is being replaced with the guy who recently illicitly met with Russian spies on US soil despite US sanctions?
10:53 PM - Mar 13, 2018Sarah Kendzior✔@sarahkendziorReplying to @sarahkendzior
Tillerson was, at best, a stock character from a "Dallas" script rejected for being too implausible.
At worst, he was an abetter of treason who purposefully gutted the State Dept and endangered the US.
I severely doubt Tillerson's departure has to do with his moral qualms over the Trump admin. He was unperturbed by everything else they did.
More likely he completed his task -- gutting State, refusing to enforce sanctions on Russia -- and will now go reap the financial rewards.
11:02 PM - Mar 13, 2018
To humor this theory for a moment, Tillerson was the CEO of ExxonMobil before he was secretary of state, with a net worth of $300 million according to the New Yorker. He gave up $180 million in retirement pension when he left ExxonMobil for civil service. He ain't missing any meals. If "financial rewards" were his objective, why take the position of secretary of state at all?
Oh right. Because he's a Russian shill. A Russian shill who has, again, never been shy to criticize or sanction or cast suspicion on his masters. If this is shilling, it's some pretty crappy shilling.
It's the same story with previous Trump firings: after former FBI Director James Comey called Hillary Clinton "extremely careless" in the handling of her private email server, Democrats and Russia opponents took every opportunity they could to slam him as a Russian shill. All of those allegations mysteriously vanished when Trump fired him - now, Comey is reimagined as a white knight trying to fight Russian interference, who was given the boot by Trump for getting too close to the truth.
If there's something we can take away from Tillerson's departure, it's that to Russiagaters, Trump campaign officials are in a quantum superposition to support their narrative no matter what happens to them. Their appointment is evidence of Russian interference. All of their actions are evidence of Russian interference. When they quit or get fired, it's evidence of Russian interference.