Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heaped praise on Donald Trump Wednesday following an NBC News report that he had called the president a “moron” and threatened to quit earlier this year.
“President Trump’s foreign policy goals break the mold of what people traditionally think is achievable by our country,” Tillerson said. “Our job is now to achieve results on behalf of America and we are doing that.”
“What we have accomplished, we have accomplished as a team,” Tillerson said, adding that he reaffirmed his “commitment to this role.”
“He loves this country. He puts Americans and America First. He’s smart,” Tillerson said in a hastily arranged statement from the State Department. “He demands results wherever he goes and he holds those around him accountable.”
Tillerson denied a report that Vice President Mike Pence encouraged him to remain in his post after he wavered on staying.
“The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as secretary of state because I have never considered leaving this post,” he said.
When asked about calling Trump a “moron” Tillerson dodged the question but didn’t deny it:
“The places I come from, we don’t deal with that kind of petty nonsense. I’m just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration.“
Trump ripped NBC News in a series of tweets: “Wow, so many Fake News stories today. No matter what I do or say, they will not write or speak truth. The Fake News Media is out of control! NBC news is
#FakeNews and more dishonest than even CNN. They are a disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news ratings are way down! The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is #FakeNews. They should issue an apology to AMERICA!”