Trump blasts back at Tiller­son, say­ing he’s ‘dumb as a rock’

The Olympian - - Nation & World - BY PE­TER BAKER

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­nounced his first sec­re­tary of state, Rex Tiller­son, as “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell” Fri­day af­ter Tiller­son said the pres­i­dent had reg­u­larly pushed him to take ac­tions that were il­le­gal.

Trump, who fired Tiller­son with a Twit­ter post in March, lashed back at him the same way af­ter the for­mer sec­re­tary gave a talk in Hous­ton and said Trump was undis­ci­plined, did not like to read and did not re­spect the lim­its of his of­fice.

“Mike Pom­peo is do­ing a great job, I am very proud of him,” Trump wrote Fri­day af­ter­noon, re­fer­ring to the cur­rent sec­re­tary. “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!”

The caus­tic war of words came af­ter a week in which Wash­ing­ton ex­tolled ci­vil­ity as it bade farewell to for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush and his “kinder and gen­tler” brand of lead­er­ship.

Else­where in the same city just hours later, Tiller­son, the for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of Exxon Mo­bil, took the stage for a ben­e­fit for the M.D. An­der­son Can­cer Cen­ter at which he pre­sented a blis­ter­ing ac­count of the pres­i­dent he served.

“It was chal­leng­ing for me com­ing from the dis­ci­plined, highly pro­ces­sori­ented Exxon Mo­bil Cor­po­ra­tion to go to work for a man who is 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, but rather just kind of says, ‘Look, this is what I be­lieve,’” Tiller­son said.

Trump, he added, kept press­ing for ac­tions be­yond his au­thor­ity.

“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,’” Tiller­son said. “It vi­o­lates the law.”

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