Since October, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been dogged by reports indicating he grew frustrated with President Donald Trump over the summer and called him a “moron” in a meeting.
In a press conference following the initial reports, Tillerson notably declined to confirm or deny that he had used the word to insult the president’s intelligence.
“I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that. This is what I don’t understand about Washington. Again, I’m not from this place,” Tillerson said. “But the places I come from, we don’t deal with that kind of petty nonsense. And it is intended to do nothing but divide people.”
Tillerson’s non-denial has followed him since, so it was no surprise when the topic came up again during a “60 Minutes” interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS on Sunday.
“Why didn’t you deny calling the president a moron?” Brennan asked.
“You know, that’s a really old question,” Tillerson answered.
What unfolded next was an exchange nothing short of bizarre, with Tillerson expressing a belief that he had answered a question he has dodged for months:
MARGARET BRENNAN: You understand that by not answering the question, some people thought you were confirming the story?
REX TILLERSON: I think I’ve answered the question.
BRENNAN: You think you answered the question.
TILLERSON: I’ve answered the question.
BRENNAN: Did you call the president a moron?
TILLERSON: I’m not gonna dignify the question.
The question Tillerson continually references but refuses to answer should be an easy one for any cabinet secretary to field. But Tillerson’s continued refusal to answer that question will leave many believing he did, in fact, call the president a “moron.”
Huckabee Sanders Says Trump Believes Russia Meddled In Elections But Won’t Press Issue With Putin