The deputy assistant to President Trump, Sebastian Gorka, appears at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Gorka then used an anecdote involving a Holocaust survivor to suggest North Korea’s threats against the United States was somehow similar to that posed against Jews by the Nazis in the Second World War.
Tillerson said that Trump was speaking in threatening language that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “would understand” because diplomacy hasn’t worked so far and that “Americans should sleep well at night” without worry of a military confrontation.
Gorka who spoke to BBC Radio said Tillerson was in no capacity to talk about the military as it is not his mandate. “It is the job of Secretary Mattis, the secretary of defense, to talk about the military options, and he has done so unequivocally”.
“I was admonishing the journalists of the fake news industrial complex who are forcing our chief diplomat into a position where they are demanding he makes the military case for action when that is not the mandate of the secretary of state”, Gorka told host Liz Claman.
It also came as Mattis and Tillerson struck different public notes on North Korea, something that might simply be reflective of their different roles in the government.
GORKA: Absolutely, absolutely but there’s a secretary of defense and there’s a secretary of state. Asked Thursday if the administration was deliberately using a “good cop, bad cop” tactic, she sidestepped, addressing the administration’s goal and not its approach.
En route to the US island territory of Guam early Thursday Tillerson said that a threat military force from President Donald Trump the day before didn’t carry any weight.
“What they’ve been doing and what they’ve been getting away with is a tragedy and it can’t be allowed”, Trump said.
Tillerson seemed to scale back that red line Wednesday.
Gorka described it as “fake news 101” for reporters to say that he accused Tillerson of being “out of line” by discussing military affairs. “But I think what the President was just reaffirming is the United States has the capability to fully defend itself with any attack, will defend our allies, and we will do so”.
CLAMAN: It’s now big enough that Heather Nauert, the spokesperson for Rex Tillerson was asked about it, she even said as she was walking to the press event there that she was told about it.
“For reporters to force our chief diplomat, the incredible Rex Tillerson, to give details of military options is nonsensical”, Gorka said, accusing reporters of twisting his words. And should be paid attention to.