"If I called my boss a moron, it would be a big deal — and my boss doesn't control nukes."
On CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson repeatedly dodged questions about whether he called the president a "moron," all but confirming that he did, indeed, say it.
“Is it true? Did you call him a moron?” host Jake Tapper asked, referring to recent reports that Tillerson called Trump a moron after a meeting at the Pentagon this summer, during which Trump demanded to increase the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal by ten times — based on seeing a powerpoint slide showing that the number of nuclear weapons in the arsenal was going down.
Tillerson refused to answer, saying he wouldn't "dignify the question" by denying the reports.
But Tapper wasn't done.
"When you don't answer the question, it makes people think you probably did say it, but either way, whatever happened, it is serious," Tapper said. "So can you please clear it up?"
Tillerson again refused to deny that he called Trump a moron, telling Tapper that he wasn't going to "play games."
"I'm not making a game out of it," Tapper said. "I'm just trying to seek clarity. If I said that my boss was a moron, that would be a serious issue — and my boss doesn't control nukes."
"I just want to be clear," Tapper said. "You still haven't denied that you called him a moron."
Predictably, Trump rage-tweeted at the media for publicizing the comments, calling the story "fake news" and even daring Tillerson to take an IQ test — which Mensa said they would be glad to facilitate.
Yet even after his boss's rage, and after being handed repeated opportunities to refute the story, Tillerson still wouldn't deny it — all but confirming that he did, in all likelihood, call the president of the United States a moron.