Trump says he has confidence in Tillerson after IQ test jab, 'moron' spat

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump suggests an IQ test will settle whether he's really a "moron."
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used the word to describe the president this summer, according to NBC News.
  • NBC also reported that Tillerson was on the verge of resigning this summer, which the secretary of State denied.
Trump suggests he'd beat Tillerson in an IQ test

President Donald Trump still calls it "fake news" to say his secretary of State called him a "moron." But if Rex Tillerson did make the jab, the president has a way to settle it.

"I think it's fake news, but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win," Trump told Forbes of the "moron" comment.

Trump often boasts about his intelligence and achievements.

Despite the remarks, Trump told reporters Tuesday that he still has confidence in Tillerson. He also said "I didn't undercut anybody" with the IQ test comment.

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confer during a working lunch with African leaders during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 20, 2017.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Asked about Tillerson's IQ later Tuesday, a State Department spokeswoman responded that he had a "high" IQ.

Tensions between Trump and Tillerson appeared to escalate last week when NBC News reported that Tillerson considered resigning this summer. It said Tillerson also called the president a "moron" following a July meeting with members of the president's national security team and Cabinet.

At a hastily scheduled news conference after the report, Tillerson said he never considered leaving his job but did not deny calling the president the derogatory name.

NBC later reported that Tillerson's refusal to deny calling Trump a moron angered the president further.

NBC, which shares a parent company with CNBC, stands by its reporting.

Read the full Forbes story here.

Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are owned by NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast.