Trump's IQ challenge to Tillerson was a joke: White House

Nick Sanchez
October 14, 2017

Colbert then lays into the president's intelligence in earnest, citing reports which claim that the White House staff have to be careful with what they tell Trump for fear of his impulsiveness. In the Times interview, he said Trump's "tweets, especially as it relates to foreign policy issues, I know have been very damaging to us" and have "hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway". "He made a joke, nothing more than that", Sanders said.

It's tempting to explore what the point of such a build-up would be - it would serve no substantive goal - but I think we can safely guess that the president wasn't thinking along these lines.

"The president certainly never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent".

Mr Tillerson has since said he never considered resigning, although he did not directly address questions regarding calling the US President a "moron" - his spokeswoman later said Mr Tillerson never used such language.

Although Mr Trump has said publicly that he has confidence in Mr Tillerson, as he did on Tuesday, he has always been brooding about the latter's job performance behind the scenes, according to administration officials and outside advisers.

View the comments below to see whether our readers thought it was appropriate for Mr Trump to challenge his own Secretary of State.

Mr Tillerson also has publicly complained about the White House blocking him from making key appointments. They had a great visit earlier today.

"No, I didn't undercut anybody". He specifically rejected the notion that Trump and Tillerson were engaged in "some good cop, bad cop act" in which Trump's bellicosity strengthened his secretary of state's bargaining power.

The president says he may feel "stronger and tougher" than other people on the subject.

Shortly before the lunch, a reporter asked Mr Trump whether he had undercut Mr Tillerson with his comments to Forbes.

There were reportedly several "tense exchanges" at the July 20 meeting, and it's not clear if the comments on nuclear weapons directly led to TIllerson's Trump criticisms.

He replied: "We have a very good relationship".

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