US President Donald Trump was reportedly “furious” over a report which said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on the verge of resigning in July and had once called the president a “moron.”
, citing several senior Trump administration officials, reported on Thursday that the president “fumed” inside the White House to his chief of staff John Kelly and others for two hours after the news
network revealed the rift between the president and his secretary of state.
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 called on 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.
Trump and members of the administration have publicly rejected reports of tensions between the two.
On Wednesday morning, Tillerson hurriedly called a news conference to address the NBC report, but he did not deny that he used the word “moron” to describe the Republican president.
A State Department spokeswoman later denied that Tillerson had used the language, and claimed he 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.