Trump’s jibe deepens feud with Tiller­son

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

US and has the sup­port of the White House.

That un­cer­tainty could im­pact a num­ber of for­eign pol­icy crises, in­clud­ing the nu­clear threat posed by North Korea and the im­mi­nent de­ci­sion to be made as to whether to con­tinue the Iran nu­clear pact.

Trump de­clared on Tues­day that he had con­fi­dence in Tiller­son just hours after the pub­li­ca­tion of the in­ter­view — and be­fore a pri­vate lun­cheon with Tiller­son and De­fence Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis.

But peo­ple close to Trump say the pres­i­dent has grown in­creas­ingly dis­sat­is­fied with the for­mer Exxon CEO, whom he views as hold­ing a merely con­ven­tional view of Amer­ica’s role in the world and lack­ing star power. Tiller­son, mean­while, is said to have grown weary of Trump con­tra­dict­ing his pub­lic pro­nounce­ments and of be­com­ing in­creas­ingly iso­lated in a cap­i­tal to which he has never warmed.

The NBC News re­port last week claim­ing Tiller­son de­scribed Trump as a “mo­ron” — to as­so­ci­ates after a highly clas­si­fied July briefing — brought the sim­mer­ing frus­tra­tion be­tween the men into the open.

This ac­count is based on con­ver­sa­tions with sev­eral White House aides, State Depart­ment of­fi­cials and oth­ers who spoke with the two men over the past week.

Sel­dom back­ing down from a fight, Trump es­ca­lated an­other pub­lic feud on Tues­day, un­load­ing on “Lid­dle Bob Corker”, a Repub­li­can se­na­tor who has dubbed the White House an “adult day care cen­tre” and said the pres­i­dent could be set­ting the na­tion on the path to­ward World War III.

Other GOP lead­ers urged the two men to calm a quar­rel that could im­peril the Repub­li­can agenda on Capi­tol Hill and law­mak­ers’ elec­tion chances next fall.

Later Tues­day, Trump took to Twit­ter in de­fence of White House chief of staff John Kelly. Trump ac­cused “The Fake News” of try­ing to hurt Kelly “by say­ing he will soon be fired”.

“This story is to­tally made up by the dis­hon­est me­dia,” Trump tweeted. It was un­clear which spe­cific news out­lets he was re­fer­ring to. — AFP

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