It has a name folks: “Moron-gate.”
And for the record, NBC’s sources were a little more specific than what was revealed in the original article:
What’s especially amusing about this, is that when the story first hit, the peanut gallery seemed inclined to dismiss it as something of the “nothing burger” variety. And it probably would have been just that – a “nothing burger.” But not when the “moron” in question has an ego the size of one of the golden monuments he’s built to himself all over the world. For Donald Trump, that story could “not stand – man.”
So what did the President do? Well, he forced Tillerson to hold an unscheduled press conference, that’s what he did. Don’t let anyone tell you that presser wasn’t Trump’s idea. You’ve got to think he insisted on it because again, he simply couldn’t suffer the slight. He even took to Twitter after the fact to demand a retraction:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2017
Of course the hilarious thing about the whole “totally refuted” bit there is that the part of the story that mattered – the “moron” bit – was not only not refuted, it was in effect confirmed when Tillerson refused to answer a straightforward question about it:
Reporter: Did you call Trump a moron?
Rex Tillerson: Um 🤐pic.twitter.com/8qPmpAWjcf
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 4, 2017
Let me be clear: the notion that someone in the administration might have wanted to resign at some point isn’t news. If you are a part of this administration and you haven’t thought about resigning at least once in the past nine months, then there is something profoundly wrong with you. Further, all the evidence suggests that Tillerson has thought about resigning quite a few times (more on that in our original post).
The news here is that the nation’s top diplomat thinks the President of the United States is a “f&*%ing moron.” That’s the news.
You can disagree with your boss without thinking he’s a moron. Indeed, you can even think your boss might be a racist without thinking he’s a complete moron. To be sure, there’s a certain sense in which anyone who is a bigot is moronic, but conceivably, you could be a racist and still be a good President if you could just manage to keep your bigotry under control for four years.
What you cannot do, however, is be a good President if you are a moron in the kind of way NBC’s sources suggested Tillerson meant – i.e. in that kind of general way where “moron” doesn’t apply to one undesirable character trait, but rather to everything that comes out of your mouth whenever you open it.
So that’s why it is disconcerting that Tillerson couldn’t, under pressure, definitively say that he has never once called Trump a moron.
The reason we’re bringing this back up (well, besides the fact that it’s the biggest story of the day) is because now, The Daily Beast is out reporting that Trump aides wanted Tillerson to resign. Here’s more:
As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took to the microphones Wednesday morning to address reports that he had called his boss, President Donald Trump, a “f*%^ing moron,” aides in the White House held out hope that he would offer his resignation.
Tillerson didn’t deny having questioned the president’s intellectual capacities. But he insisted that he wasn’t going anywhere either, much to the chagrin of three White House officials who vented to The Daily Beast in real time about how they wished he would “just leave,” as one put it.
“In a perfect world” he would have quit right then and there, another said.
“People in [the White House] who are loyal to the president think Rex Tillerson hates [Trump],” one White House official told The Daily Beast.
There you go.
And then to add insult to insult, Bob Corker (who has previously questioned Trump’s sanity) said this:
Other people in the Trump administration have been undermining Sec. of State Rex Tillerson.
I think as a team Tillerson, Mattis and Kelly help separate us from chaos.
Simply put: if you believe Trump’s version of this story, well then you are a … [ask Rex Tillerson to fill in the blank for you].