Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been left out on an island once again by the Trump administration. As Tillerson holds out hope of negotiating with Pyongyang and Kim Jong-un over nuclear weapons, the White House says, this is not a good time.The embattled State Department head has been rendered all but useless for the world to see.

Tillerson and Trump don't see eye to eye

The latest signal that the White House is not on the same page as its head diplomat came this past Tuesday (Dec. 12) when, according to the NY Times, Asia, Rex Tillerson seemingly proclaimed that the United States was ready to sit down with North Korea and talk without any requisites or conditions.

Just a few hours later, the White House contradicted Tillerson’s remarks, reiterating through White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, that the administration’s position on North Korea had not changed. Sanders went on to point out, reported the Times, Pyongyang’s record of "bad behavior," and therefore the poor environment for diplomatic talks at this time.

Rex Tillerson, a former boy scout, is either extremely naive or has some fantasy of making the world a better place all by himself. This is not the first time the White House has lampooned the state department’s efforts for diplomacy with North Korea. This is also not the first time the administration has publicly undermined the current secretary of state.

Rex Tillerson has taken more than enough to step down

In October, President Trump bluntly and openly voiced that Tillerson was wasting his time with diplomatic efforts with "Rocket Man," referring to Kim Jong-un.

Weeks later, just ahead of his 12-day sojourn through SouthEast Asia, Trump intimated that he did not know if Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state, would last until the end of his term in office. Sandwiched in between, Tillerson was humiliated in front of his Boy Scouts of America and constituents by one of Trump’s "Trumponian" speeches.

More recently, the administration leaked that there were plans to oust Tillerson in favor of C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo in a matter of weeks; and now, this latest slight.

Rex, the State Department is not the place to make your stand

I don’t know what Tillerson is thinking about but the president's quite open, public undressing of him is hard to watch.

The humiliation and embarrassment are palpable, even from afar. Perhaps it is the Eagle Scout in Rex Tillerson and some virtuous image of staying the course that keeps him hoeing the row. Or perhaps it is doing something for the greater good, and bigger than himself, that keeps Tillerson on his course. One thing I do know is that Rex needs to step down, or this is not going to end well for our current secretary of state; not for his objectives, not for his reputation, and not for his dignity.