Trump challenges Tillerson to IQ showdown
2017-10-11 13:52:00

Donald Trump's feud with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was renewed on Tuesday, after the US president joked that the two leaders should compare IQ scores.

Having loudly dismissed reports that Tillerson had once called him a "moron,"

Trump refused to let the controversy go, renewing questions about Tillerson's future.

In an interview with Forbes magazine, Trump was asked about last week's report that Tillerson had insulted him behind his back, a story that both had already denied.

"I think it's fake news," Trump said, before allowing: "But if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win."


President Donald Trump smiles at Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after he was sworn in in the Oval Office of the White House, Feb. 1, 2017. /VCG Photo

The interview was published hours before the two men met in the White House for talks on Iran, Turkey and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and then lunch with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Ahead of the sit-down, Trump had insisted he still had confidence in the secretary of state, saying: "I did not undercut anybody. I don't believe in undercutting people."

But White House insiders say that Tillerson's refusal to personally deny an NBC News report that he labeled Trump a "moron" after a July meeting had only deepened the rift.

President 'allowed to joke'

After the meetings, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted there was no rift between the men, and that Trump does not think Tillerson stupid.

"The President certainly never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent. He made a joke, nothing more than that," Sanders insisted.

"He has full confidence in the secretary of state. They had a great visit earlier today. And they are working hand in hand to move the president's agenda forward."

Source: CGTN Editor: Hiram