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NBC: Tillerson called Trump a "moron," almost resigned

Rex Tillerson is at the center of the Trump administration's latest round of palace intrigue. Photo: Cliff Owen / AP

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson almost resigned over the summer around the time of President Trump's controversial speech at the Boy Scouts' Jamboree, according to an NBC News report. Tillerson also reportedly called Trump a "f***ing moron" following a national security meeting at the Pentagon in July, as NBC News' Stephanie Ruhle told Hugh Hewitt. Tillerson's spokesman at the State Department flatly denied the report.

Why it matters: Tillerson reached that point after months of foreign policy disputes with Trump, specifically on Iran and Qatar. It reportedly took personal interventions from Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to get Tillerson to reconsider.

But there's again trouble in paradise: Trump used Twitter to very publicly undercut Tillerson's North Korea strategy over the weekend.

Worth noting: Tillerson's spokesman told NBC News that the only time Tillerson and Pence ever discussed something other than policy was a meeting where Pence asked Tillerson if he thought U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was helpful to the administration. Haley is widely viewed as coveting Tillerson's position, which she has flatly denied.

An important reaction: From Council on Foreign Relations President Richard A. Haass:

Go deeper: Axios' Jonathan Swan details how Tillerson has become isolated from nearly everyone.

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D.C.'s March for our Lives: "The voters are coming"

Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives.
Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives. Photo: Axios' Stef Kight.

D.C.'s March for our Lives event is expected to see more than half a million participants.

Why it matters: While D.C. is the primary march, there are hundreds of others around the world and across the country. Led by students, the march is "to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address" gun issues, per the organization's mission statement.

Haley Britzky 6 hours ago
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DOJ eyeing tool to allow access to encrypted data on smartphones

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

The Justice Department is in "a preliminary stage" of discussions about requiring tech companies building "tools into smartphones and other devices" that would allow law enforcement investigators to access encrypted data, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: This has been on the FBI's mind since 2010, and last month the White House "circulated a memo...outlining ways to think about solving the problem," officials told the Times. Both FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, support finding ways for law enforcement to access data without compromising devices security.