Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took to referring to President Donald Trump as “a moron” after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon, according to NBC News.
Multiple officials stated that Tillerson was unconcerned about venting his frustration with the current president in front of others, making the moron comment to members of Trump’s national security team and Cabinet members. The NBC report also said Tillerson wanted to resign over the summer because of constant policy disputes and clashes with other members of the Trump administration.
Vice President Mike Pence, with the help of now former-Homeland Security Chief John Kelly, and Defense Secretary James Mattis convinced Tillerson to remain until the end of the year.
However, it seems that Trump didn’t get the memo about how close he came to losing another high ranking member of his staff.
Just last weekend, Trump publicly denied Tillerson’s announcement that the U.S. was trying to open diplomatic talks with North Korea.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…,” Trump tweeted on Sunday morning.
…Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
That tweet was the latest in a long line of snubs that Trump has aimed at the former ExxonMobil CEO:
“Tillerson and Trump clashed over a series of key foreign policy issues over the summer, including Iran and Qatar. Trump chafed at Tillerson’s attempts to push him – privately and publicly – toward decisions that were at odds with his policy positions, according to officials. Hammond said Tillerson has had no policy differences with Trump. “The president’s policy is his policy,” Hammond said.
In August, Trump was furious with Tillerson over his response to a question about the president’s handling of the racially charged and deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, administration officials said. Trump had said publicly that white nationalists and neo-Nazi sympathizers shared blame for violence with those who came out to protest them.
“The president speaks for himself,” Tillerson said at the time, when asked on “Fox News Sunday” about Trump’s comments.
Hammond said Trump addressed the issue with Tillerson in a meeting the next day. He said that during the meeting, Trump congratulated another White House official, Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, for his performance on the Sunday news talk shows. Bossert had defended Trump’s controversial pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
For the moment at least, it appears that Tillerson, who is currently 4th in the line of presidential succession, will remain with the current administration he believes is led by a moron. But his eventual departure would seem to be a matter of “when,” and not “if.”