President Trump fired back at Rex Tillerson after his former secretary of State said the commander-in-chief didn’t like to read briefing papers and had to be talked out of taking actions that would be illegal.
“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 tweeted.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
Trump’s angry attack on his former top diplomat came one day after Tillerson criticized his former boss.
“Part of it was obviously we are starkly different in our styles,” the former ExxonMobil CEO said at a Houston fundraiser for the MD Anderson Cancer Center, when asked by CBS News’ Bob Schieffer about how his relationship with the president soured.
“We did not have a common value system. When the president would say, ‘Here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I want to do it.’
And I’d have to say to him, ‘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, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“He got really frustrated. I didn’t know how to conduct my affairs with him any other way than in a very straightforward fashion, and I think he grew tired of me being the guy every day that told him, ‘You can’t do that,’” he said.
“I’d say, ‘Here’s what we can do,’” Tillerson said. “’We can go back to Congress and get this law changed. And if that’s what you want to do, there’s nothing wrong with that.’ I told him, ‘I’m ready to go up there and fight the fight, if that’s what you want to do.’”
Trump, he continued, “doesn’t like to read” briefing papers and “doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things” or have his gut instincts challenged.
Trump would say, “Look, this is what I believe. And you can try to convince me otherwise, but most of the time, you’re not going to do that,” he said.
Tillerson reportedly called Trump a “moron” after a contentious meeting at the Pentagon in the summer of 2017. Tillerson was fired via a presidential tweet in March.