Tillerson called Trump a 'moron' and had to be talked out of resigning, NBC reports
By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch
Secretary of State has clashed with Trump over several key foreign policy issues, including Iran, Qatar and Venezuela
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called President Donald Trump a "moron" following a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon, NBC News reported (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/tillerson-s-fury-trump-required-intervention-pence-n806451), citing multiple senior administration officials.
Tillerson, a former chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp.(XOM) , made the remark in front of members of Trump's national-security team and cabinet officials, NBC reported, citing three separate officials.
Tillerson was ready to resign at the time (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sect-of-state-tillerson-is-taking-a-little-time-off-2017-07-25), offended by comments Trump made in a speech to the Boy Scouts of America, an organization of which he was a member in his youth, said NBC. Vice President Mike Pence talked to Tillerson, offering advice on how to ease tensions with Trump, and other officials, including then--Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who would soon be named Trump's second chief of staff, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, urged him to stay in the job for at least a year.
The administration was beset by resignations and firings at the time, and officials were concerned about potential fallout from the departure of such a high-level cabinet member in the first year of Trump's presidency.
Tensions appeared to be reignited last weekend when Tillerson said the U.S. was attempting to find a diplomatic solution to the current standoff with North Korea (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/after-tillerson-says-us-is-in-direct-contact-with-north-korea-trump-calls-that-negotiation-a-waste-of-time-and-energy-2017-10-).
Trump tweeted that Tillerson was wasting his time and energy trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom Trump has dubbed "Little Rocket Man."