Rex Tillerson Denies Resignation Reports — But Does Not Deny Calling Trump A ‘Moron’
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made an unscheduled statement on his relationship with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, after NBC News put out an extensive report on his terrible relationship with the White House.
In his impromptu statement, Tillerson praised Trump’s “America First” foreign policy agenda, before refuting a detail from the report that said he considered resigning over the summer.
The report detailed Tillerson’s fractured relationship with Trump, which hit its lowest point in July, when the Secretary of State reportedly called the president a “moron” in a meeting with administration officials.
Tillerson also reportedly threatened to quit after watching Trump’s speech before the Boy Scouts, but was convinced to stay by a bevy of officials and cabinet members, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Former Gen. John Kelly.
“I have never considered leaving this post,” Tillerson said in his statement, and also denied that Pence ever tried to convince him to not resign.
Tillerson took questions from reporters after his statement, and was asked directly whether he ever called the president a “moron.” Tillerson did not deny the detail, but said he does not want to deal with “petty nonsense.”
Flaming tensions between Trump and Tillerson were reignited over the weekend, when the president undermined his secretary’s diplomatic efforts with North Korea, tweeting that “he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with” Kim Jong-Un.
As NBC reported, the crucial conflict between the two has been a difference in foreign policy views, between Tillerson’s traditional outlook and Trump’s unconventional approach. But in his Wednesday statement, Tillerson made clear he intends to follow Trump’s “America First” foreign policy goals.
UPDATE 12:13 p.m. EST: In a statement, Pence denied ever discussing potential resignation with Tillerson:
— ABC News (@ABC) October 4, 2017
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org