WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered effusive praise for President Donald Trump’s approach to the world on Wednesday after reports of a rift between the president and his chief diplomat.
“President Trump’s foreign policy goals break the mold of what people traditionally think is achievable by our country,” Tillerson said. “Our job is now to achieve results on behalf of America and we are doing that.”
“What we have accomplished, we have accomplished as a team,” Tillerson said, adding that he reaffirmed his “commitment to this role.”
Tensions between Tillerson and Trump have been simmering for months, sometimes visibly as the two have publicly diverged on some of the administration’s most crucial foreign policy challenges, including Iran and North Korea.
Tillerson was speaking in the wake of an NBC article that described him dismissing Trump as a “moron” and quotes aides discussing the top U.S. diplomat’s “fury” about the ways Trump has seemingly undermined him in public on several foreign policy initiatives.
Trump was aware Tillerson had referred to him as “a moron” after a meeting at the Pentagon this summer, a source familiar with the conversation said, but it’s unclear if he discussed the remark with Tillerson.