Amid crises, tensions between Trump, Tillerson persist

STERLING, Va. (AP) — The strained relationship between President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is coming under renewed focus.

The nation’s top diplomat insisted Sunday that Trump has not undermined him even as he again refused to deny calling the president “a moron.”

Tensions between the two men have grown while the nation faces a series of high-stakes international crises, including the threat posed by North Korea, and threatens to sow doubt about American allies as to whether Tillerson can speak authoritatively for the United States.

The secretary of state insists that he has a strong working relationship with the president without any name-calling.

But in a CNN interview he repeatedly refused to discuss whether he had dubbed the president “a moron” after a July meeting, as has been reported.

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