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Home>UPDATE: Tillerson called Trump a 'moron' and had to be talked out of resigning, NBC reports

UPDATE: Tillerson called Trump a 'moron' and had to be talked out of resigning, NBC reports

UPDATE: Tillerson called Trump a 'moron' and had to be talked out of resigning, NBC reports

10/04/2017

By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch

Secretary of state has clashed with Trump over several key foreign-policy issues

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."

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