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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: ‘I Didn’t Want This Job’

March 22, 2017, 11:36 AM UTC

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who ran Exxon Mobil before President Trump tapped him as the nation’s top diplomat, was apparently reluctant to accept the position.

“I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job,” he told the Independent Journal Review. “My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.”

Tillerson was supposed to retire this March, he said, where he would have spent time on a ranch with his grandchildren.

Erin McPike, the IJR reporter who interviewed Tillerson, was the only member of the media Tillerson brought on his trip to Asia; in the past, an entire press corps have accompanied Secretaries of State on their trips abroad.

Tillerson’s comments were published right before Wednesday’s meeting at the State Department with representatives from 68 countries to discuss how to successfully combat ISIS.

The Secretary of State also told IJR that he speaks with Trump daily and has an “open invitation” to the White House, but the two have not discussed the vision of a State Department that is facing potentially drastic budget cuts. The White House budget blueprint proposed slashing State Department funds by 28%.