Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Trump have beefed publicly time and again since the former Exxon chief joined the administration. But a new report reveals how frayed their relationship allegedly is behind the scenes, and how Tillerson reportedly called Trump a "moron" and threatened to quit his job.
Sources told NBC News that the diss went down during a meeting at the Pentagon with Trump's national security team and Cabinet officials in July. Apparently, Tillerson was upset that Trump had threatened to fire a US commander of war in Afghanistan. According to sources who were in the room, Trump compared the decision "to the renovation of a high-end New York restaurant," NBC reports.
A few days later, Trump delivered a bizarre speech to about 25,000 Boy Scouts, an organization Tillerson used to run. He slammed Hillary Clinton and "fake news," not to mention rattled off a cringe-worthy story about his rich buddy with a yacht who had too much fun, whatever the hell that meant. According to NBC, Tillerson was in Texas at the time and reportedly almost quit right then and there, threatening not to come back to DC.
The beef was apparently so bad that Vice President Mike Pence, chief of staff John Kelly, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had to step in to ease tensions between Tillerson and Trump. A senior administration official told NBC that Kelly and Mattis "did beg him to stay," but other administration and State Department officials have denied Tillerson ever considered ditching his post.
Still, it seems as if tensions have been rising between the two in recent months. Tillerson notably wouldn't publicly support Trump's comments on Charlottesville, and Trump just recently undermined Tillerson's diplomatic work with North Korea, saying the secretary of state was "wasting his time."
For his part, Tillerson held a press conference on Wednesday to address the alleged rift with Trump, saying "I have never considered leaving this post."
Yet, with reports that Trump has humiliated Attorney General Jeff Sessions in meetings and once even summoned his former chief of staff Reince Priebus to kill a fly, it's understandable why he might want to dip out and leave the administration the way so many others have already this year.
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