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Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a 2017 news conference with President Trump and Nikki Haley, who was then U.S. Ambassador to the UN. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Washington Post Monday he'd never tried to subvert President Trump, after the outlet reported ex-U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley makes the claims in a new book.

During my service to our country as the Secretary of State, at no time did I, nor to my direct knowledge did anyone else serving along with me, take any actions to undermine the President."
— Tillerson statement to WashPost

Driving the news: Per WashPost, Trump loyalist Haley writes in her memoir, "'With All Due Respect," that Tillerson and former Chief of Staff John Kelly tried and failed to recruit her to subvert Trump in order to "save the country."

  • (Kelly told WashPost if giving Trump "the best and most open, legal and ethical staffing advice" from across government so the president "could make an informed decision is 'working against Trump,' then guilty as charged.")

The big picture: Haley left on good terms with the president. She's popular within the Republican Party and is seen by many as a potential successor to Trump.

  • In contrast, Trump fired Tillerson — who had broken with him on several key international issues and reportedly called Trump a "f****ing moron." Trump tweeted in May that Tillerson was as "dumb as a rock" after reports that Tillerson disparaged his preparation for a 2017 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What he's saying: Tillerson said in his statement that his conversations with Trump "in the privacy of the Oval Office were always candid, frank, and my recommendations straightforward." "Once the President made a decision, we at the State Department undertook our best efforts to implement that decision," Tillerson said.

"Ambassador Haley was rarely a participant in my many meetings and is not in a position to know what I may or may not have said to the President. I continue to be proud of my service as our country’s 69th Secretary of State."

Go deeper: Tillerson's farewell: "This can be a very mean-spirited town"

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

10 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.