Secretary of State Rex Tillerson allegedly considers President Donald Trump to be a “moron,” according to the explosive new book detailing life in the White House under the new administration.
The book, entitledFire and Fury and written by the journalist Michael Wolff, claims that Tillerson looked upon Trump as a “moron,” while other figures such as Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster considered him “dumb as shit” and a “useless idiot.”
“It became almost a kind of competition to demystify Trump,” Wolff wrote. “For Rex Tillerson, he was a moron. For Gary Cohn, he was dumb as shit. For H.R. McMaster, he was a hopeless idiot. For Steve Bannon, he had lost his mind.”
Yet in an interview with CNN on Friday, Tillerson said that he had “no reason” to doubt Trump’s mental fitness and said he planned to remain as Secretary of State for at least “the whole year.”
“I’ve never questioned his mental fitness,” Tillerson said. “I have no reason to question his mental fitness.”
“In terms of what I would do different, I’m going to build on my ability to communicate with the president better,” he continued. “I had to learn what is effective with this president. He is not typical of presidents of the past. I think that’s well recognized. That’s also why the American people chose him.”
Tillerson has previously faced claims that he directly called Trump a “moron” during a Pentagon meeting in July, although the State Department later denied this version of events.
The book, which went on sale Friday ahead of its planned January 9th release, has sent shockwaves across the political world over a number of incendiary claims it makes about life under the Trump presidency.
However, the accuracy of many of the claims have been widely disputed, with Wolff admitting early on that “looseness with the truth” is an “elemental thread of the book.” Wolff says he gathered material for his new book for over 18 months and was given exclusive access to the West Wing multiple times throughout Trump’s first year in office.