“It’s really difficult to have a conversation with someone who doesn’t even understand the concept of why we are talking about this,” he said.
“I used to come to meetings with a list of four or five things that I needed to talk to him about, and I quickly learned that if he got to three, it was a home run, and I realized that getting two that were important was probably the best objective “.
He talked about using visual aids as a way to get the president to pay attention.
“I started taking graphics and photos with me because I found they seemed to better capture his attention,” Tillerson said.
“If I could put a photo or an image in front of him or a map or a sheet of paper that had two large vignettes, he would focus on that and I could build on that.”
Tillerson expressed frustration that others outside the White House were misinforming Trump.
“I think the other challenge that I realized early on is that there were so many people who had access to his ear telling him things, most of which were false, and then he started hearing those voices and forming an opinion. that had no basis in fact, “he said.
“There were other people giving him information that was not accurate, every day, usually before he got to see him.”
Mr. Tillerson lamented the failures of progress in many important fields of foreign policy.
“We lost the best opportunity we had in North Korea. It just blew up when he took the meeting with Kim, and that was one of the last difficulties between him and me,” he said.
“With Putin, we did nothing. We are nowhere with China on national security.”
“We are in a worse place today than we were before he came in, and I didn’t think that was possible.”
Their relationship deteriorated in mid-2017, with widespread reports that Tillerson had described the president as an “idiot.”
Tillerson was replaced by Mike Pompeo, who remained in office for the remainder of Trump’s term.
Trump will leave office next Wednesday.
Tillerson previously served as CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil.
Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of state is Tony Blinken, who is considered the president-elect’s closest foreign policy adviser.
As Barack Obama’s former undersecretary of state, Blinken was seen as a safe option in the high-level cabinet post.
He is scheduled to face a confirmation hearing next week.
Vote to impeach Donald Trump finalized in writing