U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson makes a statement to the media that he is not going to resign, at the State Department in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Wednesday he never considered resigning as President Donald Trump's top diplomat, disputing what he called "erroneous" reports that he wanted to step down earlier this year. After pointedly refusing to answer if he called the president a "moron," Tillerson had a spokeswoman deny he used such language.Thrust into the spotlight under uncomfortable circumstances, the normally camera-shy Tillerson sought to rebut a widely disseminated NBC News story that claimed Vice President Mike Pence had to talk the former oilman out of resigning over the summer, and that Tillerson had questioned Trump's intelligence. While praising Trump's foreign policy Wednesday, Tillerson raised eyebrows by pointedly declining to deny he had called the president a "moron" after a contentious meeting at the Pentagon in July.Later, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert flatly denied that Tillerson called Trump a moron. She also said Tillerson hasn't said sorry to Trump, as no apology was needed.Trump himself pounced on the NBC report, before and after Tillerson offered his side of the story.
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