President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out ‘subversion’ at VA MORE ordered Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonFormer WH adviser: Trump will want to rejoin Paris climate pact by 2020 Why the US should lead on protecting Rohingya Muslims ‘Bolivarian Diaspora’ can no longer be ignored MORE to eat a salad served to U.S. diplomats during a trip to China last year, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The Chinese leaders had reportedly included Caesar salad on the menu for a dinner with Trump, Tillerson and other top U.S. officials in November. The event was held in China’s Great Hall of the People during Trump’s tour of Asia.
Trump grew worried that the Chinese officials might be offended if the U.S. leaders didn’t eat the salad, the Journal reported.
“Rex, eat the salad,” Trump told his top diplomat, according to the newspaper.
Tillerson reportedly laughed off the president’s comment.
The Journal cited the incident as an example of the sometimes tense relationship between Trump and Tillerson.
Trump ousted Tillerson as secretary of State in a tweet Tuesday morning, replacing him with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe CIA may need to call White House to clarify Russia meddling Intel agencies to brief officials from all 50 states on election threats Russia probe complicating House hearing on threats facing US: report MORE.
Under Secretary of State Steven Goldstein said that Tillerson did not talk to Trump ahead of his dismissal and that Tillerson was “unaware” of why he was fired, contradicting the White House’s account of the firing.
The White House fired Goldstein later Tuesday.
Tillerson said Tuesday afternoon that his last day at the State Department would be March 31, and that he was delegating his duties to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan at the end of Tuesday.
The outgoing top diplomat thanked State Department staffers in his remarks, but did not thank Trump.