Rex Tillerson, Trump’s former secretary of state who never really seemed to get along with him, launched a scathing criticism of the president in a rare interview he gave to CBS News political contributor Bob Schieffer at a dinner to benefit MD Anderson Cancer Center, reports the Washington Post.
For the first time since his unceremonious removal from office in March of this year, Tillerson seemed to get candid about his actual views of the president. He is known to have called Trump a “moron” privately while he was the secretary of state, an accusation that he never denied, leading many to believe that it revealed what Tillerson thought of the president even while serving under him.
Speaking to Schieffer, Tillerson said it was a big jump for him from working for one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world, ExxonMobil, to a man who was “undisciplined” and didn’t “like to read,” reported the Post.
“What was challenging for me coming from the disciplined, highly process-oriented Exxon Mobil Corporation [was] to go to work for a man who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of says, ‘This is what I believe.'”
Tillerson said that Trump doesn’t like to base his arguments on facts, and would rather believe on his instincts, which he agreed made him look impulsive.
“He acts on his instincts; in some respects, that looks like impulsiveness,” Tillerson said.
WATCH: Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is speaking publicly about what led to his firing in March by President Trump.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) December 7, 2018
But perhaps the worst criticism came from Tillerson later during the conversation when he suggested that Trump would ask him to do things which the secretary of state couldn’t legally do, effectively meaning the president asked him to carry out illegal activities. He seemed to insinuate that such requests were made from Trump without him realizing the fact that he was actually asking Tillerson to violate the law.
“So often, the president would say here’s what I want to do and here’s how I want to do it and I would have to say to him, ‘Mr. President, I understand what you want to do but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law,'” Tillerson said.
He also seemed to mock Trump’s habit of communicating his policies through Twitter, while also criticizing the American people for not being more demanding.
“I will be honest with you: It troubles me that the American people seem to want to know so little about issues — that they are satisfied with 128 characters,” Tillerson said.
It would be interesting to see if Trump reacts to this characterization from his former secretary of state, which he is likely to do, and if Tillerson would be willing to defend what he said about him.