Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday to discuss a range of topics, including Russia and decision-making in the Trump administration, a committee aide told HuffPost.
The closed-door session, first reported by The Daily Beast, lasted about seven hours and included a bipartisan group of lawmakers and staffers.
Tillerson, former chief executive for Exxon Mobil, was secretary of state from February 2017 until President Donald Trump fired him in March 2018. He helped craft significant policies on North Korea and the Middle East.
Tuesday’s meeting “covered a wide array of topics related to foreign affairs, the operations of the nation’s foreign policymaking apparatus and his tenure as Secretary of State,” a spokesman for Tillerson told The Washington Post.
Committee members and their aides reportedly questioned Tillerson about his relationships with members of the Trump family as well as the president’s interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tillerson expressed frustration with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, the Post reported, citing an official familiar with the session.
Tillerson volunteered to meet with members of the committee after hearing they were interested in having a sit-down with him, Politico reported, citing a committee aide.
The White House reportedly knew in advance of the meeting and did not attempt to block it. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump fired Tillerson by tweet on March 13, 2018, over their differing opinions involving trade negotiations and diplomatic efforts in North Korea.
In an interview with CBS News in December, Tillerson described Trump as a “pretty undisciplined” man who doesn’t like to read or “get into the details of a lot of things.” He said he repeatedly stopped Trump from breaking the law and violating treaties.
Trump fired back on Twitter after the interview, calling Tillerson “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.”