A new report out Wednesday details why Rex Tillerson allegedly called President Trump a “moron” during a meeting at the Pentagon a few months ago.
NBC News heard from multiple sources that the president held a meeting with national security leaders in July, and he asked for an approximate tenfold increase in the American nuclear arsenal. Trump reportedly brought up nuclear weapons at multiple points during this conversation, and he also expressed an interest in having more U.S. troops and military equipment.
The comments from the president were met with explanations about the legal and practical challenges that would be involved with an increase to the current nuclear stockpile.
Tillerson was present during this discussion, and not only was he surprised by the president’s request, but officials heard him utter the “moron” comment as the meeting adjourned.
Last week, Tillerson denied NBC’s previous reporting by claiming that he never considered leaving his cabinet post. He did not explicitly deny calling Trump a “moron,” however, and the commotion prompted Trump to challenge the secretary of state to an IQ test in order to defend his own intelligence.
This wouldn’t be the first time the president expressed interest with increasing the nuclear arsenal. Shortly after he was elected, Trump tweeted about the need to expand America’s military capabilities before encouraging the idea of nuclear proliferation.
Much of the current intrigue around nuclear material comes amidst Trump’s actions regarding North Korea and the Iran nuclear deal.
[Image via screengrab]