Rift Between Tillerson and Trump Grows as Reports Swirl of Secretary of State Calling President a “Moron”

Rift Between Tillerson and Trump Grows as Reports Swirl of the Secretary of State Calling the President a "Moron"

The President and Secretary of State Have Not Enjoyed an Easy Relationship Thus Far

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that he would not be leaving his post as the department conducts damage control after an NBC News report that Tillerson called President Donald Trump a “moron” and was looking to resign his position.

“My commitment to the success of the president and the country is as strong as it was the day I accepted his offer to serve as secretary of state,” Tillerson told reporters Wednesday at the State Department in Washington. “I have never considered leaving this post.”

In response to the report that Tillerson addressed the president as a moron, the secretary said that he was “not going to deal with petty stuff like that.” He added that he has yet to speak with the president in person, has spoken by phone on Wednesday.

The rift comes at a time when tensions between Tillerson and Trump are seen as being at an all-time high. The state department has many positions that have gone unfilled and much of that is apparently due to Trump’s reluctance to let Tillerson handpick his own team, while Tillerson similarly refuses to promote Trump picks.


The standoff has been something of a running story in Washington in a White House that has seen many departments slow to fill top positions.

Tillerson has also been famously quiet as secretary of state, providing few public meetings and generally seen as playing a smaller role in this government compared to past administrations.

The rift also comes after Trump mentioned Tillerson in a tweet concerning diplomacy with North Korea. The president wrote on Twitter that Tillerson was “wasting his time trying to negotiate” with Kim Jong-un and that the U.S. would “do what has to be done!”

Not only is the tweet considered to undercut Tillerson’s efforts to deal with North Korea, but it further sparks tensions between the two nuclear-armed and seemingly bellicose countries.

While Trump has called the reports of the Tillerson conflict “fake news,” the image of dysfunction is hard to dismiss.



Tillerson Says He’s Not Quitting After Report He Called Trump a ‘Moron’,” Bloomberg, October 4, 2017.


Categories: News, Political Discord