Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | rex tillerson | nearly | resigned | disputes | donald trump

NBC News: Tillerson Nearly Resigned Over Disputes With Trump

Image: NBC News: Tillerson Nearly Resigned Over Disputes With Trump
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 04 October 2017 07:43 AM

Faced with policy clashes and disputes with the White House, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson nearly resigned during the summer, sources told NBC News.

At one point, Tillerson openly referred to President Donald Trump as a "moron" after a July 20 meeting with Trump's national security team and Cabinet officials at the Pentagon, the network news reported.

His frustrations reportedly reached a boiling point in late July around the time President Trump made a politicized speech to the Boy Scouts of America. The group was once lead by Tillerson. The secretary of state was in Texas at the time of Trump's address and threatened not to return to Washington.

Vice President Mike Pence later intervened and advised Tillerson how to ease the tension with Trump. Pence's conversation with Tillerson is described as a "pep talk." But Pence did say Tillerson needed to come to terms with ways to move ahead with Trump's policy framework, NBC News reported.

Meanwhile, other administration officials asked him to stay on for the rest of the year. John Kelly who would later become Trump's chief of staff, and Defense Secretary James Mattis "did beg him to stay." 

The network news attributed its information on Tillerson to multiple sources. However, State Department spokesman R.C. Hammond insisted Tillerson do not consider resigning over the summer and denied the secretary of state had called the president a "moron." He was not aware of the details surrounding Pence's meetings with Tillerson.

The White House declined to comment on the story, but a spokesperson said Monday that Trump still has confidence in Tillerson.

Trump undercut Tillerson on Sunday and called his effort to open communications with North Korea a waste of time, The New York Times reported.

Trump had posted on Twitter:

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Faced with policy clashes and disputes with the White House, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson nearly resigned during the summer, sources told NBC News.
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2017-43-04
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 07:43 AM
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