Rex Tillerson

The trio that pulled U.S. back from the nuclear brink

The trio that pulled U.S. back from the nuclear brink

After threatening fire and fury, how does a superpower deescalate? By scrambling its secretary of State, secretary of Defense and military chief to reassure foreign leaders that President Trump should be taken seriously, not literally.

That’s what Rex Tillerson, James N. Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, have been doing for the past week — and it seems to have worked.

Only eight days ago, Trump warned that if North Korea made any more threats against the United States, he’d unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Mattis quickly clarified that the U.S. red line would be an actual military attack, not verbal...

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