(CNN) – In her book about the time she worked at the White House of Donald Trump, the former United States ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says she was recruited by the then White House secretary general, John Kelly, and then secretary of State Rex Tillerson to subvert the wishes of the president.
"Kelly and Tillerson trusted me that when they opposed the president, they were not being insubordinate: they were trying to save the country," Haley wrote in the play With All Due Respect, which will be published Tuesday. (The Washington Post obtained a copy before).
After that revelation, Haley has insisted that she resisted such requests. "How it should be is that you are going to tell the president what your differences and resignations are if you don't like what he is doing," Haley told CBS this weekend. “Unauthorizing a president is really very dangerous. And it goes against the Constitution and what the American people want. It was offensive, ”he insisted.RELATED
But focusing on Haley – and what he did or didn't do – leaves out the key point: two of the top officials in the Trump administration cabinet were worried enough about the behavior of the US president who approached other members. government influencers to actively work around them.
That's a big problem. Especially if you consider how Tillerson and Kelly got to their jobs.
Tillerson was the head of Exxon, a massive and multinational company. Trump presented him as the crown jewel of his cabinet, a successful businessman that only this president could recruit to work for the government. Kelly, on the other hand, was a hugely accomplished general who led the Southern Command, among other areas during his life in the army.
It was these resumes that attracted Trump to them. Of all the cabinet officials, it was these two of those who boasted most during the first days of his White House. On Tillerson, Trump said: “He is a world class player. It is run by an oil company that is almost twice the size of its closest competitor. ” And Kelly valued him so much that when the vacancy of the White House secretary general opened, Trump moved him from his position as head of the Department of Homeland Security to the new position.
None of these men were ever against Trump. Both were Trump's first election for positions of great importance – perhaps the most powerful in the cabinet – and at least in the early days of Trump's presidency they were considered stellar players. They, along with Trump, were supposed to shape the future of the country and the world.
Tillerson and Kelly cannot be accurately described as state experts. The two were new at this level of government. In addition, they were far removed from embedding themselves in the vast government bureaucracy. And it's not for sounding like a scratched record, but Trump named them both!
So consider what it means that, in a relatively short period, not only did the two identify important concerns in front of the president, but they were also so uneasy that they approached others within the administration to try to recruit them on a mission to protect the Country at any cost.
It is absolutely questionable, as Haley mentions, that Tillerson and Kelly have not resigned instead of trying to carry out a persuasion campaign inside the White House to set aside the president. (I guess they would say they are worried about what would happen if they left.)
But, for me, the most important part of the story is that these two greatly accomplished officials, who were elected by the president and who presumably arrived at the cabinet with a penchant for Tump, quickly and clearly assessed that the man in power was an active danger to the country.
And such was the danger they were in the process of actively recruiting people within the government to help them prevent the president from doing something that endangers the country.
Think about it. It's frightening