President Donald Trump dispelled rumors again Saturday that he and his secretary of state are at odds, contrary to recent media reports.
“We have a very good relationship,” the president said of Rex Tillerson before he left for North Carolina Saturday evening. “We disagree on a couple of things. Sometimes I’d like him to be a little bit tougher. But other than that, we have a very good relationship.” It is unclear what the president expects as far as toughness is concerned, but Trump has stated repeatedly that there is no point in talking to North Korea, something Tillerson has been working towards since he took office as secretary of state.
The president’s comments do, however, clearly refute reports that the relationship between Trump and Tillerson was on a downward slide, so much so that the latter was reportedly considering resigning.
Earlier this week, NBC released a report claiming that Tillerson called Trump a “f***king moron” and threatened to resign. Both the secretary of state and the president have dismissed this bombshell report as inaccurate. “That was fake news,” Trump said Saturday. “That was fake news by NBC.”
Vice President Mike Pence also refuted the story, which claimed that he had to intervene to calm Tillerson’s fury.
Trump criticized NBC for its highly-questionable reporting in an tweet earlier in the day.
.@NBCNews is so knowingly inaccurate with their reporting. The good news is that the PEOPLE get it, which is really all that matters! Not #1
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017
Trump fired off a similar tweet earlier in the week calling out NBC and CNN for “fake news.”
NBC news is #FakeNews and more dishonest than even CNN. They are a disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news ratings are way down!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2017
Speaking before Congress this week, Secretary of Defense James Mattis stressed that the divide between Tillerson and Trump was not what the media was making it out to be. He explained that he does “not see the divergence as strongly as some have interpreted it.”
Trump’s language Saturday and Mattis’ statement suggest that there are a few rough patches in the relationship, but suggestions that the relationship between Trump and his secretary of state was on the verge of collapse may have been exaggerations.
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