US secretary of state Rex Tillerson referred to President Donald Trump as a “moron” and was on the verge of quitting this summer against the backdrop of mounting policy disputes and clashes with the White House.
Tensions between the two came to a head around the time Trump delivered a politicised speech to the Boy Scouts of America, which Tillerson once led, in late July. Just days earlier, Tillerson openly disparaged Trump, referring to him as a “moron”, after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of the president’s national security team and cabinet officials, according to three officials familiar with the incident.
Vice President Mike Pence is reported to have counselled Tillerson on ways to ease tensions with Trump, and other top administration officials urged him to remain in the job at least until the end of the year, media from US reported.
Trump and Tillerson have clashed on a number of key foreign policy issues, including Iran and Qatar.
Trump was angry with Tillerson’s response to a question about the president’s handling of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.