Trump Says He Still Has Confidence In Tillerson

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson looks on as President Donald Trump speaks at a luncheon with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

After alluding in an Forbes interview that he thinks he has a higher IQ than his secretary of state, President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that he doesn’t “believe in undercutting people.”

In an interview with Forbes that was published Tuesday, Trump said he thinks reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called him a “moron” this summer are “fake news,” but said if the reports are true “I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

When asked by reporters Tuesday if he still has confidence in Tillerson, Trump responded with a simple “yes.” MSNBC’s Kristen Welker then asked if he “undercut” Tillerson with his IQ comments.

“No, I didn’t undercut anybody. I don’t believe in undercutting people,” he said.

Trump and Tillerson were scheduled to have lunch with Secretary of Defense James Mattis at the White House Tuesday, after reports last week that Tillerson not only called Trump a “moron,” but also wanted to resign over the summer.

Both Tillerson and Trump have denied those reports.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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