Political News

Trump boasts of a higher IQ than Tillerson

Posted October 10

— President Donald Trump, scorned by reports that Rex Tillerson called him a "moron" earlier this year, told Forbes in an interview released Tuesday that he has a higher IQ than his secretary of state.

The comment underscores the volatility between the two men after multiple reports that their relationship has frayed over the secretary of state's comment. Trump and Tillerson, along with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, will have lunch together at the White House on Tuesday afternoon.

"I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests," Trump said. "And I can tell you who is going to win."

Trump was aware before the report earlier this month that Tillerson had referred to him as a "moron" at the Pentagon this summer, a source familiar with the conversation told CNN, but it's unclear whether Trump discussed the remark with Tillerson. Trump was not present at the Pentagon meeting where the comment was made.

Trump and his administration have looked to discredit the initial NBC report, despite the fact that other outlets have since confirmed Tillerson made the comment.

"The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is #FakeNews," Trump tweeted at the time. "They should issue an apology to AMERICA!"

Tillerson also made an in-person statement lauding his boss and his commitment to working for him, but sources have told CNN that the two men have an uneasy relationship that has recently been highlighted by the fact that Trump publicly tweeted that Tillerson was "wasting his time trying to negotiate" with North Korea.

The President doubled down on those comments in his interview with Forbes.

"He was wasting his time," Trump said. "I'm not undermining him. I think I'm actually strengthening authority."

Though the uneasy relationship continues, it is unlikely -- for now -- that Tillerson will leave, sources have told CNN, because the President and his top aides are aware of the perception that they are shedding top staff at an unnerving clip. Tom Price, Trump's first Health and Human Services secretary, resigned in late September over a private plane scandal and since becoming president, Trump has dismissed several top communication aides, a chief of staff and a chief strategist.

Trump has repeatedly stepped out onto the foreign stage since becoming president, but the forays have not been universally well received. Trump, who ran on the promise to put America first, has largely thrown out the foreign policy playbook of past administrations, and in his interview with Forbes, Trump said he is unlikely to fill the State Department with his own people.

"I'm generally not going to make a lot of the appointments that would normally be--because you don't need them," the President said. "I mean, you look at some of these agencies, how massive they are, and it's totally unnecessary."

He added: "They have hundreds of thousands of people."


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  • Stacie Hagwood Oct 10, 4:07 p.m.
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    Steve, you're hilarious. And all of this will be hilarious on SNL and late night comedy. Except that it is so -ing tragic that this is what we have as a "leader."

  • Ralph Savary Oct 10, 3:42 p.m.
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    And he wonders why he's the topic of so many late night skits. What a fool.

  • Steve Escabar Oct 10, 2:37 p.m.
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    Look, Trump is way smarter then Tillerson. That he will tell you. Trump is the smartest, ok. Trump understands what people are saying, and he hears it from so many people. And believe me, Trump knows some really smart people. They ask, is Trump the smartest? Being smart is great, that I will tell you, ok? Trump is the smartest, bigly

  • Andrew Stephenson Oct 10, 2:02 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    They don't even need to write a joke. Just have someone read the tweet and stare at the camera for a few minutes.

  • Andrew Stephenson Oct 10, 1:55 p.m.
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    This may be the most hilarious thing he's said yet. Like, I'm literally here in my office chair laughing out loud. Not because I agree/disagree, but because he actually pulled something out of my 5th grade insult book.

  • Paul Gallant Oct 10, 1:43 p.m.
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    Are we really going to have to live through 3 more years of this?

  • Larry Price Oct 10, 12:33 p.m.
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    SNL will have a field day with this one. I see a Jeopardy skit in the making!

  • Reggie Berryman Oct 10, 12:32 p.m.
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    This isn't normal behavior!

  • Tom Baker Oct 10, 12:01 p.m.
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    My neighbor's poodle has a higher IQ than the Dotard.