President Trump on Friday attacked ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — tweeting that the former top US diplomat was “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.”
“Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him. His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!” Trump tweeted, apparently in response to critical comments Tillerson made the night before.
Tillerson teed off on Trump Thursday night, saying the commander-in-chief didn’t like to read briefing papers and had to be talked out of taking actions that would be illegal.
“Part of it was obviously we are starkly different in our styles,” the former ExxonMobil CEO said at a Houston fundraiser for the MD Anderson Cancer Center, when asked by CBS News Bob Schieffer about how his relationship with the president soured.
“We did not have a common value system. When the president would say, ‘Here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I want to do it.’ And I’d have to say to him ‘Mr. President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way, it violates the law. It violates treaty,’” Tillerson said, The Houston Chronicle reported.
“He got really frustrated. I didn’t know how to conduct my affairs with him any other way than in a very straightforward fashion, and I think he grew tired of me being the guy every day that told him, ‘You can’t do that,’” he said.
“I’d say here’s what we can do,” Tillerson said. “We can go back to Congress and get this law changed. And if that’s what you want to do, there’s nothing wrong with that. I told him I’m ready to go up there and fight the fight, if that’s what you want to do.”
He did not say what actions Trump wanted to take that would have run afoul of the law.
Trump, he continued, “doesn’t like to read” briefing papers, and “doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things” or have his gut instincts challenged.
The president would say: “Look, this is what I believe. And you can try to convince me otherwise, but most of the time, you’re not going to do that,” he said.
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