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Morning Briefing: Sec. of State Rex Tillerson Called Donald Trump a 'Moron'; He's Not Wrong

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 4, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 4, 2017 |

There’s tension between Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as there seems to be tension between Donald Trump and everyone around him. Reports have surfaced that Tillerson nearly quit over the summer, and had to be talked out of it by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and General John Kelly. Tillerson’s resignation nearly came because of the way Trump politicized a Boy Scout rally — Tillerson used to lead the Boy Scouts. Tillerson also reportedly called Trump a “moron” during a meeting of key cabinet officials after Trump had left the room.

That tension still exists. Weeks ago, after the Charlottesville rally, Tillerson suggested that Trump doesn’t speak for the American people, but “for himself.” Over the weekend, Trump also undercut Tillerson’s back-channel communications with North Korea by tweeting that Tillerson shouldn’t bother.

A couple of things here: Trump is a moron, and bless Jim Mattis, whose name is mentioned in nearly every one of these, “He almost resigned” reports as the one who talks the official out of doing so. There are a lot of shitty people in this administration, but I think that Jim Mattis — who also opposed the ban on transgender people in the military — has been the only person standing between us and World War III. A lot of these guys joined the Administration for political and power reasons; Mattis genuinely seems to have done it for the good of the country.

This is the President of Council of Foreign Relations:

Anyway, I doubt Tillerson lasts much longer, especially once Trump gets wind of the fact that Tillerson called him a moron.

He’s not wrong. Amidst all of those callous, wrongheaded statements yesterday, this may have been the most moronic. People on Twitter can’t decide if he sounds more like David Brent from The Office or every Fred Willard character in every Christopher Guest movie ever:

Meanwhile, as Donald Trump boards a plane to Vegas, where 60 people lost their lives and over 500 were wounded, it’s a very sad day for Trump personally:

It’s always all about Trump, isn’t it?

— Let me just bring a few other things to your attention, if you haven’t seen them. There’s a great report from ProPublica detailing how Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., were nearly indicted for felony fraud in 2012 until Trump’s personal attorney — and his political contributions — potentially influenced the D.A. to drop the case.

— Audio obtained by Politico of a meeting between Republican National Committee donors and Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff, Nick Ayers, reveals that 1) the Vice President’s office does not believe that tax reform will pass with the current composition of Congress, and that 2) the V.P. intends to marshall all his resources to run anti-Trump Republicans out of office.

“I’m not speaking on behalf of the president or vice president when I say this,” Ayers responded. “But if I were you, I would not only stop donating, I would form a coalition of all the other major donors, and just say two things. We’re definitely not giving to you, No. 1. And No. 2, if you don’t have this done by Dec. 31, we’re going out, we’re recruiting opponents, we’re maxing out to their campaigns, and we’re funding super PACs to defeat all of you.”

He continued, “Because, look, if we’re going to be in the minority again, we might as well have a minority who are with us as opposed to the minority who helped us become a minority.”

— Finally: Wow!

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.