Donald Trump has lashed out at his former secretary of state Rex Tillerson calling him “dumb as a rock” in a tweet after he described the US president as “undisciplined,” unread and eager to break the law.
“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 on Friday.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
Trump launched the verbal assault at his onetime cabinet member one day after Tillerson, who was fired in March, harshly criticized his ex-boss.
“So often, the president would say here’s what I want to do and here’s how I want to do it and I would 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,'” Tillerson said during a rare interview on Thursday night as part of a charity dinner in his native Texas.
The former Exxon Mobil CEO admitted having strained relationship with the president and said he and Trump “did not have a common value system.”
“I’d say, ‘Here’s what we can do. 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 said.
“He got really frustrated,” he added. “I think he grew tired of me being the guy every day that told him you can’t do that and let’s talk about what we can do.”
Trump and Tillerson had often contradicted each other on important foreign policy issues.
For example, Tillerson had been working on a plan to keep the United States in a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran despite vociferous rhetoric against the agreement by the US president, while Trump had accused Iran of not acting in keeping with the international nuclear deal.
Trump was reportedly “furious” over a report which said Rex Tillerson was on the verge of resigning in July and had once called the president a “moron.”
Tensions between Trump and Tillerson reached a high point last fall when Tillerson referred to the president as a “moron” after a meeting in July at the Pentagon with members of his national security team and Cabinet members.
A few days after the report, Trump harshly criticized Tillerson in an interview with Forbes magazine, suggesting that he’s smarter than the then-secretary of state.
Eventually, Trump summarily dismissed his top diplomat by tweet on March 13 this year.