Cabinet-level intrigue dominated the day after NBC News reported this morning that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called President Trump a "moron" this summer, adding VP Mike Pence talked Tillerson out of resigning.
- MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle dialed it up on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, saying it was "f***ing moron."
- Tillerson in a televised statement: "The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as Secretary of State because I have never considered leaving this post."
- State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tillerson did not call Trump a moron: "The secretary does not use that kind of language..."
- Trump turned it on NBC: "The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VPPence. It is #FakeNews. They should issue an apology to AMERICA!"
- Trump added: "[I have] total confidence in Rex."
Go deeper: Axios' Jonathan Swan reads between the lines.