In an impromptu address to reporters on Wednesday morning, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to end the rumors that he planned to resign last July and called President Trump a "moron," BuzzFeed News reports. He also denied claims made by an NBC report that Vice President Mike Pence persuaded him to stay on the job.
And me? I'm currently flashing back to all my drama-filled middle school days, because they're starting to ring a bell here.
The NBC News report, published on October 4th (and deemed "fake news" by Donald Trump), claimed that Tillerson was on "on the verge of resigning this past summer" according to senior administration officials. Tensions were reportedly high between Tillerson and Trump when Trump delivered a speech to The Boy Scouts of America in late July of 2016 (an organization that the officials say Tillerson once lead), along with policy disputes.
According to three officials, Tillerson had referred to Trump as a "moron" a few days earlier during a meeting at the Pentagon on July 20 with Trump's national security team and Cabinet officials, NBC News reports.
The report goes on to claim that officials said Pence counseled Tillerson on ways to ease tensions with Trump, and was urged to stay on the job until the end of the year—as he would receive a very high tax bill for resigning after less than a year. Pence also reportedly talked to Tillerson about sorting out any disagreements in private and to be respectful of Trump in public.
"The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as secretary of state because I have never considered leaving this post," Tillerson said in his address to reporters on October 4, BuzzFeed News reports.
Again, while Tillerson denies most of the claims made by NBC News, Tillerson's top aids have stated that, while that Tillerson has no intention of stepping down from his position, he is frustrated by Trump's tweeting (hard same) and fighting over staffing decisions.
Can someone say petty?