Trump challenges Secretary of State to IQ test to see who’s the ‘moron’
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump this week suggested comparing intelligence tests with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after the top US diplomat allegedly called his boss a “moron”.
“I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win,” Trump told business magazine Forbes this week.
Trump also denied that he had undermined his secretary of state with remarks that Tillerson was wasting his time by reaching out to the North Koreans over the country’s provocations.
“I’m not undermining. I think I’m actually strengthening authority,” the president asserted.
Asked about the reports during a meeting in the Oval Office with Henry Kissinger, Trump said he still had confidence in Tillerson and maintained the IQ quip did not undercut him.
Trump had not intended to question Tillerson’s intelligence and “he made a joke and nothing more than that,” White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said.
The men had a “great visit” during a lunch at the White House on Tuesday, Sanders said, without providing details of what was discussed.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Tillerson’s IQ was “high” but declined to discuss the matter further.
Tillerson denied rumours last week that he had nearly resigned amid mounting frustrations with Trump and reports he had called the president a moron after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of Trump’s national security team and cabinet officials.
The Texan and former ExxonMobil chief executive did not deny using the description, but said he would not be part of an effort to divide the administration.
Trump was to have lunch on Tuesday with Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis. – dpa
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, showing a united face earlier this year.