Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied a report on Wednesday that he was frustrated with President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy and considered resigning from his post.
NBC News reported early Wednesday morning that Tillerson nearly resigned over the summer “amid mounting policy disputes and clashes with the White House.”
What did NBC News report?
The NBC News report said Tillerson was angry about Trump’s politicized July speech to the Boy Scouts of America, an organization he once led, according to unnamed administration officials.
NBC News also reported that officials said Tillerson called the president a “moron,” after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon.
Tillerson was reportedly so close to resigning at the time that Vice President Mike Pence was forced to intervene and ask him to stay.
What did Tillerson say?
In remarks to reporters Wednesday, Tillerson said he remains committed to Trump’s “America First” agenda and said he “never considered” resigning.
Tillerson said he admires the vice president, but Pence has never had to ask him not to resign.
He characterized the report as erroneous and as an attempt to sow divisions within the administration.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insists he "never considered" resigning from Donald Trump's administration pic.twitter.com/XcWdujxF0b
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 4, 2017
Tillerson did not, however, directly deny calling Trump a “moron.”
"I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that," Tillerson said.
Tillerson on report he called Trump a "moron": "It is intended to do nothing but divide people" pic.twitter.com/7NLeA9sE3G
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 4, 2017