Trump blasts NBC News again in an early-morning tirade
US President Donald Trump on Saturday morning blasted NBC News in a tweet, criticizing what he says is their "knowingly inaccurate" reporting.
NBC News reported on Wednesday Tillerson "was on the verge of resigning," this past summer amid mounting policy disputes and clashes with the White House, according to senior administration officials who were aware of the situation at the time.
The outlet also reported that Tillerson "openly disparaged the president, referring to him as a 'moron,'" after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon on Afghanistan policy in which Trump reportedly compared "the decision-making process on troop levels to the renovation of a high-end New York restaurant."
RELATED: Trump scorned by Twitter for 'Nambia' remarks
The Secretary of State addressed the report on Wednesday in a press conference on Wednesday. He denied reports that he had to be persuaded by Vice President Mike Pence to stay in his position last summer. He also praised Trump, the administration more broadly, and his colleagues at the State Department.
When asked about NBC News' report that he called the president a "moron," Tillerson responded, "I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that."
"The places I come from, we don't deal with that kind of petty nonsense, and it's intended to do nothing but divide people," he said. "And I'm just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration."
An NBC News spokeswoman told Business Insider earlier this week, "We stand by our reporting."
NBC News reporter Carol Lee said on MSNBC that the team of reporters stands by their reporting: "We've extensively reported on this. We talked to a dozen people for this story."
- Trump winks when asked again about his mysterious 'calm before the storm' comment
- The head of the group that won the Nobel Peace Prize called Trump a 'moron' — and had a pointed message for him and Kim Jong Un
- Trump may look to replace Tillerson with CIA Director Pompeo after 'moron' report