President Trump called former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “a man who is as dumb as a rock” in response to accusations that the President was underprepared for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2017.
“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,” said Trump on Twitter Thursday morning. “I don’t think Putin would agree. Look how the U.S. is doing!”
Tillerson was seated in the room during the talks in question, a meeting that took place at the 2017 G-20 Summit. According to him, the conversation was anticipated to be a short one, but stretched into two-plus hours of geopolitical discussion that Trump was ill-prepared for.
At least one House Foreign Affairs Committee member seems to confirm this, saying, “We spent a lot of time in the conversation talking about how Putin seized every opportunity to push what he wanted. There was a discrepancy in preparation, and it created an unequal footing.”
This wasn’t the first spat between Trump and Tillerson. The latter almost resigned from his Secretary of State position in July 2017 due to policy disputes and a squabble with the White House that resulted in Tillerson calling Trump a “moron”.
Tillerson was ultimately fired in March 2018, learning of the news first via a tweet from Trump.