BRUSSELS — Dec 5, 2017, 11:44 AM ET

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson promises 'quick wins' for US foreign policy

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told U.S. diplomats in Brussels today that the U.S. State Department has yet to achieve foreign policy “wins” since he took over nearly a year ago.

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"While we don't have any wins on the board yet, I can tell you we're in a much better position to advance America's interests around the world than we were 10 months ago," Tillerson said.

Speaking to diplomats who work at the U.S. missions to NATO, European Union and Belgium, Tillerson also said the department would announce “quick wins” in the next couple of weeks.

The "quick wins" referred to a planned reorganization of the department, including updating the IT system and streamlining the operation, a State Department spokesman said later.

After President Donald Trump's recent trip to Asia, he touted his wins to reporters on Air Force One, saying, “we've had a tremendously successful trip." The United States netted "at least $300 billion” in trade deals, Trump said.

The next day at the White House, Trump said the United States made “historic strides in reasserting American leadership, restoring American security, and reawakening American confidence.”

Tillerson today acknowledged the slow pace to fill ambassadorship positions. Neither the European Union nor Belgium has a U.S. ambassador in place, and Tillerson has yet to offer nominees for the postings.

"We're still awaiting on a lot of nominees to clear the processes and be confirmed," he said. "I get a little criticism for that from time to time.

"The State Department is not missing a beat because we're still working through the process," he added. "I have yet to encounter anyone who has not stepped up and assumed responsibilities."

In his first extensive remarks since reports surfaced about a White House plot to oust him, which Trump has denied, Tillerson barely mentioned the president. He only recalled that the two met for the first time on the day when Trump offered him the prestigious position.

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  • Mikhail

    Not winning, I'll be darned!

  • Sorrythatyouasked

    Keeping up with all these "wins" is very time consuming. Oh wait, there hasn't been any yet? But Trump said there would be so many "wins" we would get tired of "winning". Does moving the office furniture in the White House count as a "win"?

  • Margot

    What about Tillerson saying trump offered him the job on the first day he met him. Someone said Tillerson was a gift to Putin. He certainly wasn't a gift to the USA.

  • Rich

    Not implementing any sanctions on Russia that were approved by Congress 2+ months ago.
    Only country in the world to not to join the Paris agreement
    Escalating tensions with NK
    Escalating tensions in ME
    No respect from any NATO ally.
    I'd say Trumps has been wildly successful with his policy of lessening America's standing in the world.

  • Rodolfo Vicente Gonzales

    trump signals his total and gross incompetency more than 24 times per day! Israel recognition is to deflect away from the "RussiaGate" encircling his tenure!

  • kritikosman

    Trump will say differently, of course.

  • ricardoh

    We have been doing something about North Korea since the nineteen fifties. I guess some expect miracles. President Trump will succeed where many others have failed.

  • John Barron

    Tillerson sets the bar too high. Trump hasn't groped anyone while on a trip abroad. That we know of.

    I consider that a win. :)

  • AngeredVoter

    The next day at the White House, Trump said the United States made “historic strides in reasserting American leadership, restoring American security, and reawakening American confidence.”
    --------------------
    LOL. Is that why world opinion of the U.S. is back to the historic lows that President Bush achieved?

  • Dr. Gurnicus Blanstonius

    No wins??? I beg to differ.

    A) Despite a bull in a china shop approach, you haven't started a nuclear war (yet)
    B) Tillerson DID say he never called the President a moron (or did he say 'I never called this moron a president')

  • 20 Yr Retired Military

    Trump said everything is winning. Is he lying?

  • Trinkar

    Rex is starting to look a lot like Donnie: fat, strained, and unhealthy. Consorting with the devil will do that to a person.

  • JuPMod

    Win? How can anyone expect the USA to win when the State Department had been gutted? The other countries can easily walk all over us given our strong diplomatic department has been weakened. I really can not see how this will make America 'great' again. For a person who wants to win, Trump sure is doing everything in order to lose.

  • TerminalSanity

    Mr. Tillerson you can say whatever you want fact is we've gotten nowhere with our biggest strategic rivals China and Russia(is anything we've lost ground to them), the Middle East is still a unstable mess and a continuing source of terrorism across the world, and our relationships with our traditional allies has never been more strained, all the while the NK threat has only grown. You're a failure because you're propping up a fraud who undermines your every effort at every turn.

  • wbilct

    ""I can tell you we're in a much better position to advance America's interests around the world than we were 10 months ago," Tillerson said."

    That's what I'm afraid of, advancing America's interests!!!

  • Focus

    If he thinks we're in a better diplomatic position now than we were when Trump was sworn in he's crazy. Trump has alienated our long-term NATO allies with his arrogance and let's face it, bone deep ignorance. We are a joke on the world stage and we deserve it for putting something like Trump in the White House.

  • duckkdownn

    Mueller is itemizing how he's spending his budget. What are the odds of Trump ever itemizing a nickel of the $300 billion in deals he says the US cut while he was in Asia eating Big Macs?

  • Chuck

    Maybe because the tweets from the Orange Clown undermine anything that could be accomplished. Other world leaders are not as amused as the deplorables who find his tweets like a soft breeze blowing in their ears. Most adults realize he is dangerous and out of control. Other leaders want nothing to do with him and would never strike any type of deals with such a moronic individual.

  • katerant

    The most inept, incompetent, dishonest, immoral administration ever. And we haven't even reached the one-year mark. We're exhausted.

  • TexasVulcan

    When Tillerson and Trump get N. Korea to give up their nukes, I'll consider that a "win". Trade deals? Those happen all the time anyway. Of course without the TPP we are likely to be left out of a lot free trade deals.

  • PhxFan

    Surprised Rex doesn’t consider the routing of ISIS in Syria a success. More progress than Obama hoped to achieve. Also Iraq in better shape.