- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2017

The White House Thursday labeled as “rumor” a news report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called President Trump a “moron,” and said Mr. Tillerson was right to dismiss the accusation.

“As the Secretary of State said, this is a petty, ridiculous accusation,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

She said it was “beneath” Mr. Tillerson “to weigh in on every rumor.”

NBC News reported Wednesday that Mr. Tillerson made the comment about the president in July at the Pentagon, and that at least three others heard him say it.

Mr. Tillerson didn’t directly discuss the report Wednesday but said he wouldn’t address “petty nonsense.”

Mrs. Sanders also rejected suggestions that Mr. Trump, in recent tweets, has been working to undermine Mr. Tillerson’s efforts at diplomacy.

“The president can’t undercut his own Cabinet,” she said. “The president is the leader.”

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