President Donald Trump discussed his firing of James Comey with two Russian diplomats to prove he's not letting Washington politics "get in the way" of improved Russian relations, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday.
In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Tillerson said the whole point of the discussion – during which Trump reportedly disparaged Comey as "crazy" and a "nut job" – was to show he's not distracted from his more important goal.
"So I think the point he was making is, 'I'm not going to be distracted by those things here at home or let them get in the way of important work of engaging Russia to see what can be done to improve this relationship,'" Tillerson said.
Tillerson said Trump also spoke about the low point that has been reached in U.S. relations with Russia.
“The president, I think, reemphasized the message to the Russians that the relationship is at a low point,” he said.
Tillerson, commenting on Trump's first trip overseas, also praised Saudi Arabia's effort to combat terrorism "historic."
"I think it's historic what's happening here in Riyadh under the king's leadership," said Tillerson, who joined Trump in Riyadh over the weekend.
"We had a very productive discussion on how to counter terrorism ... and how bring greater stability to region," he said, noting "the output of this are framework agreements" that'll lead to cooperation with the Saudis on fighting ISIS in the region.
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