Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was apparently on the verge of resigning his post around the time of Donald Trump’s unhinged speech to the Boy Scouts in late July and openly called the president a “moron,” NBC News reported on Wednesday.
Tensions reached a point where Vice President Mike Pence had to intervene and counsel Tillerson about how to cope with the man-child president.
The secretary of state was in Texas for his son’s wedding when Trump addressed the Boy Scouts of America—where the president infamously made bizarre sexual innuendos to a group of young boys, threatened to fire then-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and derided former President Obama for never addressing the group. He was so mad at the speech that he threatened not to return to Washington, three people with direct knowledge told NBC. Days earlier, had Tillerson reportedly labeled Trump a “moron” after a July 20 meeting with Pentagon officials, members of Trump’s national security team, and Cabinet officials.
When Tillerson returned from Texas, Pence allegedly set up a “pep talk” meeting with Tillerson to “beg” him to stay.
Since then, it doesn’t appear Tillerson’s relationship with Trump has gotten much better, with the president publicly criticizing Tillerson’s handling of North Korea, tweeting that he told his boy “Rex....that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.”
UPDATE, October 4, 2017, 11:05 AM: In televised remarks, Tillerson directly addressed the reporting on a rift between him and the president, saying “I have never considered leaving this post.”
“[I want to] dispel with this notion that I have ever considered leaving,” he told reporters. “There has never been a consideration in my mind.”
Asked specifically if he did, in fact, call the president a “moron,” the secretary of state didn’t deny making the remark, saying instead that he wasn’t “going to deal with petty stuff like that.”
- Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock was known at his local Starbucks for berating his girlfriend in public, reportedly sneering at her: “I’m paying for your drink, just like I’m paying for you.”
- Mike Pence’s chief of staff called for a “purge” of GOP lawmakers not loyal to Trump in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday and called for a “coalition” of major GOP donors to unite against the administration’s perceived enemies, Politico reported.
- Trump is visiting Las Vegas today after a mass shooting there left 59 dead and more than 500 wounded. We can only hope he doesn’t throw paper towels at people again.
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