Published: Mon, October 16, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Rex Tillerson Downplays His Tensions with President Trump

Rex Tillerson Downplays His Tensions with President Trump

Rex Tillerson has announced the US will continue to attempt to find a diplomatic solution to the situation with North Korea "until the first bomb drops".

Tillerson's comments come after reports indicated that Trump's July 20 meeting at the Pentagon was a "difficult and tense" session.

Tillerson acknowledged in a separate appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that he and the president "don't agree on everything".

The secretary of state accused CNN moderator Jake Tapper of trying "make a game" out of pressing him on the "moron" comment.

In an interview Sunday, however, Tillerson refuted Corker's suggestion that the president is undermining him.

Tillerson repeatedly declined to answer a question about a report by NBC News that said the secretary of state had called Trump a "moron" during a private meeting in July with USA officials.

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But Trump's recent Twitter messages appeared to undercut Tillerson's efforts, prompting the Senate foreign relations committee chairman Bob Corker to complain that Trump was publicly castrating Tillerson and hurting diplomatic talks.

"I'm not going to deal with that petty stuff", he replied, saying he would not dignify the question with an answer.

"I am fully committed to his objectives". But on Friday, Corker reignited the feud, telling the Washington Post that Trump had "castrated" Secretary of State Rex Tillerson-one of the officials he had previously suggested was "separat [ing] our country from chaos".

As for Trump's tweets themselves, Tillerson said the President made the statements he did to try to "motivate action".

Corker has already been a target of Trump's Twitter tirades. Tax plan puts swing-state Republicans in tough spot MORE (R-Tenn.), added additional fuel to the speculated tension between Trump and Tillerson in an interview with The Washington Post on Friday, in which he said Trump is trying to "publicly castrate" Tillerson.

"I'm not playing", Tillerson said.

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