Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he fully intends to remain in the Trump administration through 2018, casting concerns about his future at the State Department as overblown.
“I think we’re going to have a very productive 2018,” Tillerson said during an interview with CNN that aired on Friday. “And I look forward to having a very, very successful 2018.”
Tillerson, asked whether he would remain in the administration long enough to see his predictions come to fruition, said he planned “to be here for the whole year.”
Speculation surrounding Tillerson’s job security and a potential departure — a so-called Rexit — has run rampant since NBC News reported in October that he had called Trump a “moron” during a meeting with Pentagon officials.
The White House and the State Department disputed the report, and Tillerson has called the notion that his departure from the administration is imminent “laughable.”
The topic re-emerged after a book by journalist Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” said Tillerson on a separate occasion characterized Trump as a “moron.”
“I’ve never questioned his mental fitness,” Tillerson told CNN, casting aside the report. “I have no reason to question his mental fitness.”
During a town hall-style meeting with State Department employees last month Tillerson was asked whether he enjoyed his role. “I am learning to enjoy it,” he quipped.