Rex Tillerson said his staff prints out Trump’s tweets and hands them to him to read

  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he doesn’t use Twitter.
  • His staff prints out President Donald Trump’s tweets for him to read.
  • He said it’s “not a bad system” because by the time he reads the tweets, there are already early reactions he can use to decide how to act.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a talk at Stanford University on Wednesday that he doesn’t have Twitter, but he receives print-outs of President Donald Trump’s tweets so he can figure out how to “use” them.

“The challenge is just getting caught up because I don’t even have a Twitter account that I can follow when he’s tweeting. So my staff usually has to print his tweets out and hand them to me,” Tillerson said, to the audience’s laughter.

He said that though the process may seem cumbersome, he’s “actually concluded that’s not a bad system.” He added that he doesn’t know in advance if or when Trump plans to tweet, so “there’s not a whole lot I’m gonna do until it’s out there.”

By the time his staff hands him the papers, Tillerson said, early reactions to Trump’s tweets have usually started filtering in, so he has a fuller picture of what to do next.

“It might be five minutes, or it might be an hour before somebody hands me a piece of paper and says, ‘Hey, the president’s tweeted this out,'” he said. “It allows me to now think about … is it a foreign policy issue? What is it he’s tweeting about, and how do we take that and now use it?”

Tillerson was at Stanford’s Hoover Institution on Wednesday to give a speech on the US’s efforts in stabilizing Syria. He made the remarks about Trump’s tweets when former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked him about Trump’s use of social media.

“It is a great tool when it’s used well,” Tillerson said. “The president has used it to great effect, by bypassing the way you traditionally communicate.”

He didn’t specify how the tweets are printed out – whether there are multiple on one page or if each tweet gets its own piece of paper.

Watch a clip of Tillerson’s comments below: