Donald Trump Accused Of 'Castrating' Rex Tillerson With Tweets

Violet Powell
October 16, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the North Korean crisis "will continue until the first bomb drops".

"I checked, I'm fully intact", Tillerson said.

Tillerson's comments on Sunday come amid soaring tensions between the U.S. and North Korea following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang and a war of words between the two countries' leaders.

"I think what North Korea should take away from this decision is that the United States will expect a very demanding agreement with North Korea", Tillerson said on CNN's State of the Union.

"The president wants to know what I think", Tillerson said on CBS's "Face the Nation".

"As I said, Jake, I'm not playing", he said, adding, "These are the games of Washington". Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, publicly rebuked the president for "castrating" his the secretary of state and undermining his diplomatic efforts.

Asked about a leading GOP senator's comment - "You can not publicly castrate your own secretary of state" - Tillerson would have none of it.

"I will work as hard as I can to implement his decisions successfully".

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An NBC report claimed that Tillerson had called the president a "moron", with Trump responding by challenging Tillerson to an IQ test. "I'm just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration".

But Tillerson sought to minimize the controversial tweets on Sunday, saying that was Trump's way of trying to move the ball forward.

Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman, has denied Tillerson ever called the President a "moron". "He used unconventional techniques to motivate change", Tillerson said.

She said she was happy being in NY, where the United Nations is based, and said that from what she has observed Trump and Tillerson have a constructive relationship.

Tillerson has been painted by some "America First" forces as a publicity-shy, slow-moving "globalist" who did not grasp the nationalist platform of Trump's campaign.

"The president speaks for himself", Tillerson said at the time.

The president was also angry with Tillerson's remarks after Trump declared there were "fine people" on both sides of the clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and anti-racist demonstrators that left one person dead, according to two people familiar with the Trump's beliefs but not authorized to discuss private conversations.

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