Trump calls Tiller­son ‘dumb as a rock,’ ‘lazy’

For­mer sec­re­tary of state says pres­i­dent was ‘undis­ci­plined, doesn’t like to read’


WASH­ING­TON (Reuters) – US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Fri­day called for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell” a day af­ter the for­mer di­plo­mat said he had warned the pres­i­dent against do­ing things that would vi­o­late 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 wrote on Twit­ter.

Trump fired Tiller­son in March af­ter a se­ries of pub­lic rifts over North Ko­rea, Rus­sia and Iran pol­icy, dis­miss­ing the for­mer Exxon Mo­bil Corp chief ex­ec­u­tive in a tweet. In ad­di­tion to pol­icy dis­putes, re­la­tions were strained by re­ports that Tiller­son pri­vately called Trump a “mo­ron.”

In an in­ter­view with CBS News’ Bob Schi­ef­fer on Thurs­day, Tiller­son de­scribed Trump as “pretty undis­ci­plined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read brief­ing re­ports ... doesn’t like to get into the de­tails of a lot of things.”

Asked how his re­la­tion­ship with Trump had gone off the rails, Tiller­son said it might have been the re­sult of his telling the pres­i­dent that he could not do cer­tain things be­cause they were il­le­gal or would vi­o­late US treaties.

“I’d have to say to him, ‘well Mr. Pres­i­dent, I un­der­stand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way. It vi­o­lates the law. It vi­o­lates treaty,’” Tiller­son said. “You know, he got re­ally frus­trated.”

When he se­lected Tiller­son to serve as the 69th sec­re­tary of state, Trump praised him lav­ishly, say­ing: “His tenac­ity, broad ex­pe­ri­ence and deep un­der­stand­ing of geopol­i­tics make him an ex­cel­lent choice for Sec­re­tary of State.”

How­ever, Tiller­son led a de­mor­al­ized State Depart­ment which saw its role vastly di­min­ished, with many al­lies ques­tion­ing the ef­fi­cacy of deal­ing with a di­plo­mat they sus­pected never had Trump’s ear.

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