Donald Trump has challenged Rex Tillerson to “compare IQ tests” if his secretary of state called the president a “moron”, as reported.
Mr Trump told Forbes magazine: “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.”
The president’s tense relationship with Mr Tillerson burst into public view last week as an NBC News story claimed vice president Mike Pence had to talk the secretary of state out of resigning this summer, and that Mr Tillerson had called Mr Trump a “moron”.
Mr Tillerson said he never considered resigning, and his spokeswoman said he never used such language.
Mr Trump and Mr Tillerson are scheduled to have lunch later with defence secretary Jim Mattis.