Washington- US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he has “total confidence” in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson following media reports that the top diplomat intended to resign.
In his turn, appearing before reporters at a hastily organized news conference in the State Department following reports of huge differences with the president, Tillerson denied his intention to resign.
“There’s never been a consideration in my mind to leave,” the Secretary of State said.
“I serve at the appointment of the president and I am here for as long as the president feels I can be useful to achieving his objectives.”
Tillerson also sought to rebut a report that claimed Vice President Mike Pence had to talk him out of resigning.
Asked whether he had once dubbed the president a “moron,” Tillerson said: “We don’t deal with that kind of petty nonsense.”
“Let me tell you what I’ve learned about this president, whom I did not know before taking this office,” Tillerson said. “He loves his country. He puts Americans and America first. He’s smart. He demands results wherever he goes.”
According to an NBC News story, which cited “multiple senior administration officials”, Tillerson had referred to Trump as a “moron” at a July 20 Pentagon meeting.
Afterwards, the report said, Tillerson met with Pence, who urged him to show more respect, and with other senior officials who urged him not to resign.
The US media has revealed on many occasions that there are differences between the President and the Secretary of State.
On Sunday, as Tillerson flew home from meeting with top Chinese officials, Trump tweeted that his envoy was “wasting his time” in trying to probe North Korea’s willingness to talks.