WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration came out swinging on Wednesday in response to reports by NBC News that Rex Tillerson had referred to President Donald Trump as “a moron”.
The NBC report (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/tillerson-s-fury-trump-required-intervention-pence-n806451) claimed that Tillerson, who serves as Secretary of State, had considered resigning over the summer due to ongoing differences of opinion with Trump but stayed after being asked to do so by vice president Mike Pence.
“There’s never been a consideration in my mind,” Tillerson told reporters during a press conference inside the State Department’s Treaty Room in response to the allegations. “The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as secretary of state because I have never considered leaving this post.”
“My commitment to the success of our President and our country is as strong as it was the day I accepted his offer to serve as secretary of state,” Tillerson continued. “President Trump’s foreign policy goals break the mold of what people traditionally think is achievable by our country. Our job is now to achieve results on behalf of America and we are doing that.”
“What we have accomplished, we have accomplished as a team,” Tillerson added, citing a list of foreign policy changes the Trump administration has carried out, including sanctioning North Korea, pressing Arab leaders to do more against terrorism and working with India and Pakistan to help stabilize conditions in Afghanistan.
Tillerson said he knew little about Trump on a personal level before accepting his role as Secretary of State, but that the one thing he’s learned for certain is that the president loves his country.
“He loves this country. He puts Americans and America First. He’s smart,” Tillerson said. “He demands results wherever he goes and he holds those around him accountable.”
When asked directly whether or not he had ever referred to the president as “a moron” Tillerson said he would not dignify such an allegation with an answer. “The places I come from, we don’t deal with that kind of petty nonsense,” Tillerson said. “I’m just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration.”
Tillerson went on to blame spite and politics for the rumors that are spread about him, saying he’s learned to expect it because he’s an “outsider”.
“While I’m new to Washington, I have learned that there are some who try to sow dissension to advance their own agenda by tearing others apart, in an effort to undermine President Trump’s own agenda,” Tillerson said. “I do not and I will not operate that way.”
The president also unleashed his rage on Twitter this morning over the report which he called, “fake news”.