So did he call the president a moron? He didn’t exactly deny it, after all.
On Wednesday, some outlets were reporting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was so miffed with President Trump over his wholly inappropriate speech at this year’s Boy Scout Jamboree, that he almost resigned, and even called the president a “moron” in front of White House officials.
On the same day that story broke, Tillerson gave a televised hostage video rebuttal of the earlier report.
To be clear, all he disputed was that he considered resigning. He wouldn’t talk about the “moron” thing.
That kind of means he said it, but then, who among us…
Another story emerged shortly after, that suggested Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had formed sort of a “suicide pact,” that should the president go on one of his stampy-footed ragers and target one of them, the other two would resign, as well.
Now, here comes the next layer.
A new report from the Washington Examiner says that Tillerson, along with Mattis were called to the White House by chief of staff John Kelly, in order to hash out the whole “moron” thing, and to try and de-escalate the tensions that are building between Tillerson and Trump.
White House chief of staff John Kelly chaired the meeting Wednesday, opting to stay behind in Washington, D.C., while Trump travelled to Las Vegas to meet with victims and first respondents affected by Sunday’s Route 91 Harvest country music festival shooting, per NBC News.
Trump was “furious” at an NBC News report published Wednesday that said Tillerson threatened to resign several times over the summer and called the president a “moron” in a July 20 national security meeting at the Pentagon, six senior administration officials told the news outlet. Trump called that report “fake news” in a tweet.
Seven sources also told the television network that Vice President Mike Pence was enraged by the situation.
Tillerson isn’t a hardnosed, battle-tested general, like Mattis or Kelly, but I get the distinct feeling that he’s not real concerned about the fury of Trump or Pence.
The story goes on to say that Pence spoke with Tillerson before he spoke to the press on Wednesday.
A little pep talk, I suppose.
The report Wednesday from NBC News quoted Tillerson’s top spokesman, R.C. Hammond, saying that Pence had privately questioned the value of Haley in her post at the U.N.
Pence was “very annoyed anyone would misrepresent anything he said, particularly in private meetings,” a White House staffer told NBC.
Haley has more value to this administration than Pence, so let’s hope he didn’t go there.
Pence has gone on to say that he hasn’t tried to convince Tillerson to stay, with the point being, he didn’t have to because Tillerson didn’t threaten to walk.
Mattis and John Kelly are said to be Tillerson’s strongest allies in the administration, however, so if that’s true, it does make the report of Kelly calling them to a meeting at the White House a bit more curious – especially in light of everything else.