State Department denies Tillerson called Trump a moron

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson makes a statement to the media that he is not going to resign, at the State Department in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not call President Donald Trump a moron in a private conversation, a State Department spokeswoman said on Wednesday, adding the top U.S. diplomat told her he does not use that type of language.

“The secretary did not use that type of language to speak about the president of the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing hours after Tillerson held a news conference to deny an NBC report saying he referred to Trump as a “moron” in a private conversation.

“He does not use that language to speak about anyone,” she added, noting that Tillerson spoke with Trump by phone after his news conference and they were “all good.” Tillerson, at his news conference, did not specifically deny using the word.

Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Walsh