Trump quickly learned of Tillerson's "moron" comment

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson makes a statement to the media that he is not going to resign, at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 4, 2017.


Last Updated Oct 4, 2017 9:00 PM EDT

President Trump learned of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's "moron" comment within days of its occurrence, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garret reports, citing two sources with knowledge of the situation.

The comment spread quickly through the inner circle of the president's loyalists, and outside the White House. The remark also influenced and colored some of the president's tweets distancing himself from Tillerson.

On Wednesday morning, Tillerson held a press conference after NBC News reported he called the president a "moron." Tillerson dismissed the report, but did not explicitly deny saying the word, "moron." Later in the day, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert denied that Tillerson had made the comment.

Tillerson denied the NBC report Wednesday that he was considering retiring, saying, "I have never considered leaving this post."

But Tillerson has parted ways with Mr. Trump on key issues lately.

After Mr. Trump's comments about "both sides" being responsible for the August violence in Charlottesville, Tillerson told Fox News that the president speaks for himself. He has also attempted to cool the "fire and fury" language Mr. Trump has associated with North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un. On Sunday, Mr. Trump tweeted that Tillerson is "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with Kim.