It doesn't matter if you are on the playground or in the Oval Office — (allegedly) being called a moron hurts.
When NBC News reported on Wednesday morning that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, frustrated after a meeting with President Trump in July, called Trump a "moron," it got under the president's skin, four senior administration officials told NBC News on Thursday. Trump, about to fly to Las Vegas to meet with victims of Sunday's mass shooting, was "furious" when he heard the report, and spent two hours venting to his chief of staff, John Kelly. The president was so enraged, Kelly decided not to go to Las Vegas, staying behind to attempt some damage control.
Kelly called Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis to the White House, and they discussed the best way to move forward, three administration officials told NBC News. Later, Tillerson spoke to the press, praising Trump and refuting reports that he threatened to resign. The one thing he didn't do was deny calling Trump a "moron," and that made Trump even more livid, officials said. Read more about the chilly relationship between Trump and Tillerson — and why Vice President Mike Pence is upset about the original report — at NBC News.