US President Donald Trump has suggested comparing IQ tests with his Secretary of State after Rex Tillerson reportedly called him a “moron.”
“I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests,” Mr Trump told Forbes magazine in an interview. “And I can tell you who is going to win.”
NBC reported last week that Sec. Tillerson referred to the president as a “moron” and was on the verge of resigning after he clashed with the administration until Vice President Pence managed to persuade him to stay with the post until at least the end of the year.
Sec. Tillerson, in a hastily called news conference at the State Department that same day, pushed back on the claim that he came close to resigning but wouldn’t deny the “moron” comment.
“The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as secretary of state because I have never considered leaving this post,” Sec. Tillerson said at the news conference.
Rex Tillerson press conference
Asked about the “moron” comment, Sec. Tillerson sidestepped the question.
“The places I come from, we don’t deal with that kind of petty nonsense,” Sec. Tillerson said. “I’m just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration.”
Mr Trump called the report “Fake News” in a tweet.
“Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by @NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me. ,” he tweeted last Thursday.
It comes as another report in The Washington Post said that insiders believe Mr Trump is “rupturing alliances” in and out of the White House.
Republican Senator Bob Corker’s brutal assessment of Mr Trump’s fitness for office has left the party shaken.
“I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him,” Sen. Corker said. “A lot of people think that there is some kind of ‘good cop, bad cop’ act underway, but that’s just not true.”
“He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,” he said. “Trump may be setting the US on the path to World War III.”
A Trump loyalist said that Senator Corker has many more friends in the Senate than Mr Trump does, meaning it could hurt his chances for a tax law overhaul.
“His presidency could be doomed,” said this person.
Another Trump confidant likened the president to a whistling teapot, saying that when he does not blow off steam, he can turn into a pressure cooker and explode.
“I think we are in pressure cooker territory,” the source said.
Mr Trump directed the blame for the story to The New York Times in a tweet overnight, but managed to mock Sen Corker simultaenously.
The Failing @nytimes set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
Originally published as Trump ‘wants to compare IQs’