President Trump on Wednesday said he has "total confidence" in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, hours after the top diplomat disputed reports that he once called Trump a "moron" during a strategy session with Pentagon officials.
"It was fake news. It was a totally phony story," Trump said of the NBC News report, issued Wednesday morning, which claimed Tillerson became so frustrated with the president that Vice President Mike Pence had to intervene.
"I have total confidence in Rex," Trump told reporters during his visit to Las Vegas.
The president added that he was "very honored" by the comments Tillerson delivered at an impromptu press conference earlier in the day.
While refuting reports that he had been weighing whether to resign from the State Department, Tillerson said the president has displayed an ability to "break the mold" with his foreign policy and give a voice to Americans "who felt their interest came second to other other countries."
"He loves his country. He puts Americans and America first. He's smart, he demands results wherever he goes and he holds those around him accountable for whether they've done the job he's asked them to do," Tillerson said, praising Trump.