Two former Secretaries of State shared the same stage in Dallas Tuesday and talked about the current administration and the one under President George H.W. Bush.
Jim Lehrer moderated a conversation between Secretary Rex Tillerson and Secretary James Baker III that was part of a panel during the Dallas Citizen Council's annual meeting.
"I am, for one thing Jim, completely delighted to see that history is appreciating the accomplishments of George H.W. Bush,” said Baker.
Lehrer asked Tillerson about the President’s recent comments about him on Twitter.
At an event in Houston last week, Tillerson said when he was Secretary of State, there were times President Donald Trump would want to do something and he would have to tell him the way he wanted to do it violated the law.
Trump responded by calling Tillerson “dumb as a rock,” and “lazy as hell," in a tweet.
“You, Secretary Tillerson, have just had a very public exchange of views you might call it, with President Trump, and still hanging there unanswered as far as I know. Is the recent allegation that while you were Secretary of State, you showed yourself to be dumb as a rock and lazy as hell. I hereby as a public service grant you time to respond if you chose to do so,” said Moderator Jim Lehrer.
“Well that must have been an observation of my current state of affairs. I am trying to be very lazy these days, but my wife tells me I am failing so," answered Tillerson.
“So you don’t have a response, that is your response,” asked Lehrer.
“I have no response to that,” Tillerson answered.
The questions varied from China to Russia. Tillerson spoke about the state of affairs between the United States and and Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I think it is unfortunate that he has taken a lot of actions that have damaged this relationship. I think our response to those actions has been inadequate, and that is why he continues on the path he is on. And that began with his taking of Crimea and our response to his taking of Crimea was completely inadequate, “ said Tillerson.
Baker quickly added, “I agree with that.”
They also agreed, when asked as the final question, which was what would they recommend to anyone who had the opportunity to join the Trump administration in foreign affairs.
“Absolutely, we need good people in our government,” said Baker.
“I would say, absolutely. You will never regret serving your country, regardless of who you are working for,” said Tillerson.