Washington: Former Secretary of State and ExxonMobil (XOM) Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson is “dumb as a rock,” according to his former boss, President Donald Trump.
One might expect such criticism from a political opponent or an environmental group, but it comes from the man who nominated Tillerson as the nation’s top diplomat in one of his first acts as president.
Trump lashed out at Tillerson after a report from the Washington Post said the former Secretary of State told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee the president was “out-prepared” by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a key meeting in Germany.
“Rex Tillerson, a man who is ‘dumb as a rock’ and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State, made up a story (he got fired) that I was out-prepared by Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany. I don’t think Putin would agree. Look how the U.S. is doing!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
A committee aide told the Washington Post a discrepancy in preparation created an unequal footing, with Putin seizing every opportunity to push what he wanted.
Trump has previously suggested that he does not need to prepare very much before meetings with world leads, saying before a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last year that it is about “attitude” and a “willingness to get things done.”
Last year, Trump revealed Tillerson was fired in a post on Twitter, with former CIA Director Mike Pompeo subsequently nominated and confirmed to replace him.
“Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him,” Trump tweeted last December. “His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed.”
“He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell,” the president added. “Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!”