Rex Tillerson Threatened to Quit This Summer, Called Trump a "Moron"

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"And I'm just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration".

News claims Tillerson's comment came after a meeting on Afghanistan in which President Trump compared "the decision-making process on troop levels to the renovation of a high-end NY restaurant".

Tillerson did not disclose details about the kinds of options he will present to Trump.

According to Hammond, the only instance of Pence discussing a subject other than policy with Tillerson was a meeting in which Pence "asked Tillerson if he thought Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, was helpful to the administration, or if he was anxious about the role she was playing". He was close to submitting his resignation at the time, but Vice-President Mike Pence convinced him to hang around, NBC News reports. "I do not and I will not operate that way".

At one point, Tillerson openly referred to President Donald Trump as a "moron" after a July 20th meeting with Trump's national security team and Cabinet officials at the Pentagon, the network news reported. "No wonder their news ratings are way down!"

While Tillerson specifically denied that account, when asked about the allegation he had called Trump a moron, Tillerson declined to address whether the event occurred.

But the president followed up with his own tweet, saying NBC's story had been "totally refuted" and that "they should issue an apology to America". "I'm not from this place, but the places I come from, we don't deal with that petty nonsense", Tillerson replied.

'Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!' Trump wrote. Mr Trump publicly declared, in a move some pundits felt undermined the secretary's work.

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Of Wednesday's press conference, one State Department official told FP, "It's pretty standard for what we've come to expect anytime Tillerson faces the heat". Tillerson was formerly the organization's national president.

A person familiar with conversation also disputed that the vice president sought to coax the secretary of state into not quitting.

Following Tillerson's statement, Hammond sent out several apologetic posts to his Twitter account, endorsing Haley. "I serve at the appointment of the president and I'm here as long as the president thinks I can be useful to achieving his objectives", Tillerson said at a hastily arranged press appearance on Wednesday.

The White House meanwhile has confirmed President Donald Trump remains confident in Mr Tillerson.

The relationship between Trump and his top diplomat remains visibly strained.

Mr Tillerson may be fine with this.

State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said Tillerson was 'just taking a little time off'.

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