The Secretary of State of the United States of America, Rex Tillerson, reportedly called his boss Donald Trump a ‘moron’ following a meeting with senior administration officials.
Tillerson’s statement came during a period of great tensions over policy differences with the President, and culminated with him threatening to resign.
NBC News reported the news, citing numerous sources familiar with what happened at the time.
However, in a press conference called early Wednesday following the report, Tillerson denied threatening to resign, although he refused to specifically address the claim he called the President a ‘moron’
Read NBC News report below…
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on the verge of resigning this past summer amid mounting policy disputes and clashes with the White House, according to senior administration officials who were aware of the situation at the time.
The tensions came to a head around the time President Donald Trump delivered a politicized speech in late July to the Boy Scouts of America, an organization Tillerson once led, the officials said.
Just days earlier, Tillerson had openly disparaged the president, referring to him as a “moron,” after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of Trump’s national security team and Cabinet officials, according to three officials familiar with the incident.
In an unscheduled statement to reporters Wednesday morning, Tillerson directly addressed that version of events, saying, “I have never considered leaving this post.”
He praised Trump’s foreign policy agenda, saying he was part of a team to “make America great again.” But he did not deny calling the president a “moron,” declining to address that remark directly and saying, “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that.”
While it’s unclear if he was aware of the incident at the Pentagon, officials said Vice President Mike Pence counseled Tillerson, who is fourth in line to the presidency, on ways to ease tensions with Trump, and other top administration officials urged him to remain in the job at least until the end of the year.