Trump’s jibe deepens feud with Tillerson
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