As people cling to life in Puerto Rico and in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, President Trump is throwing a tantrum at NBC.
“The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is #FakeNews. They should issue an apology to AMERICA!” President Trump tweeted Wednesday.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2017
In a statement to reporters, Sec. of State Rex Tillerson never denied NBC News’ Carol Lee’s report that he called Donald Trump a moron.
Tillerson did note that he has never considered resigning, but he did not deny calling the President a moron, something that three officials told NBC occurred.
He said, “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that. I mean this is what I don’t understand about Washington. Again, I’m not from this place, but the places I come from, we don’t deal with that kind petty nonsense, and it’s intended to do nothing but divide people, and I’m just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration.”
However, the NBC report was updated to include Tillerson’s unscheduled press conference in which he denied the version of events that suggested he ever considered resigning.
Again, he never denied calling Trump a moron.
Tillerson’s top State Department spokesperson, R.C. Hammond, denied both that Tillerson had considered resigning and that he had called Trump a “moron.”
Evidence of conflict exist in Trump’s very public contradiction of Tillerson’s wiser North Korea strategy, and the two clashed for months over Iran and Qatar.
Tillerson used to lead the Boy Scouts of America, where Trump gave a very divisive and inappropriate speech earlier this summer. After this event, NBC reports “Tillerson, who was in Texas for his son’s wedding in late July when Trump addressed the Boy Scouts, had threatened not to return to Washington, according to three people with direct knowledge of the threats.”
Kelly and Mattis reportedly begged Tillerson to say, eager for some stability in the Trump administration.
As you can see from Trump’s reaction to this report, stability is not in the mix for this President.
Instead of focusing on Las Vegas in the aftermath of the mass shooting that took 59 lives and injured 500 people or focusing on Puerto Rico’s struggles to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, President Trump is picking a fight with NBC news over a report that his Secretary of State called him a moron.
Given that Trump’s foreign policy, if it can be called that, is moronic, and three people reported hearing Tillerson saying it, and Trump is an established liar with such thin skin that he makes things up to soothe himself, it is reasonable to go with yes, Tillerson called Trump a moron.
The real point here should be that the people in Trump’s administration who have any sense at all do not fit in and are not listened to.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.