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TILLERSON CALLED TRUMP A ‘MORON,’ WEIGHED RESIGNING IN SUMMER OVER POLICY DISPUTES

October 04, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson looks at President Donald Trump during a ceremony to commemorate the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the Pentagon September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images





US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to President Donald Trump as a “moron” after a meeting in July at the Pentagon and was on the verge of resigning this past summer amid mounting policy disputes with Trump.

US Vice President Mike Pence and other top officials intervened to persuade Tillerson not to resign, NBC News reported Wednesday, citing 12 current and former senior administration officials and other people close to Trump.

Pence urged Tillerson to be respectful of the president, urging that any disagreements should be settled in-house.

Tillerson openly referred to Trump as a “moron” during the July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of his national security team and Cabinet members.

US State Department spokesman R.C. Hammond disputed the report, telling the network that Tillerson never called Trump a "moron," and never considered quitting.

Tensions between Tillerson and Trump have been simmering for months, sometimes visibly as the two have publicly diverged on some of the administration's most crucial foreign policy challenges, including Iran and North Korea.

Following reports of a rift by NBC, Tillerson offered effusive praise for Trump during a hastily arranged statement on Wednesday from the State Department.

Tillerson denied that Pence encouraged him to remain in his post after he wavered on staying. "The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as secretary of state because I have never considered leaving this post," he said.

Asked directly whether he'd ever called Trump a "moron," Tillerson did not respond directly.

"The places I come from, we don't deal with that kind of petty nonsense." Tillerson said. "I'm just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration."

The White House and State Department have also taken divergent stances on other foreign policy issues.

Earlier this year, Trump backed Persian Gulf Arab leaders in their boycott of Qatar even as Tillerson and the Pentagon cautioned against a full-scale boycott of Qatar.

Tillerson had called on Saudi Arabia and its allies to ease their blockade of Qatar. But just hours later, Trump said the Saudi-led sanctions were necessary.

Tillerson has also clashed with the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who has a broad portfolio that includes policies in the Middle East, officials aware of the issue told NBC.

- Press TV



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