“I want to dispel with this notion that I have ever considered leaving,” Tillerson said in an appearance at the State Department added to his calendar following the bombshell report via NBC News that the secretary of state had called Trump a derogatory name over the summer, had considered resigning and was counseled to remain in the job by Vice President Mike Pence.
Asked whether he had indeed referred to Trump as a “Moron,” Tillerson said: “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that.”
Here’s the thing: If Tillerson refused to directly deny calling Trump a “Moron,” you can be almost certain he did in fact call the president exactly that.
Tillerson’s non-denial comes even as the CNN White House team is reporting that “Discord between President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is at an all-time high.” And, you can be sure that Tillerson’s refusal to publicly acknowledge that he didn’t call Trump a moron will only make things worse.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.
“He’s a world-class player,” Trump said of Tillerson before formally nominating him as a Secretary of State.
“You bring the unique skills and deep deep insights…into foreign diplomacy our nation needs to foster stability and security,” Trump said when Tillerson was formally sworn in as the nation’s top diplomat.
Tillerson seemed to rebuke Trump when he responded to Fox News’ Chris Wallace that “The President speaks for himself” regarding the President’s comments.
In the wake of Tillerson’s seeming admission that he called his boss a nasty name, the question turns from whether the secretary of state will quit to whether Trump will part ways with him.