(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Tuesday President Donald Trump was joking when he suggested he has a higher IQ than Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
In an interview with Forbes magazine published Tuesday, the president was responding to news reports that said Tillerson called Trump a “moron.”
“I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests,” the president said. “And I can tell you who is going to win.”
On Saturday, the president said he and Tillerson have disagreements at times, but they have a “very good relationship,” adding that "sometimes I'd like him to be a little bit tougher."
When asked why Trump would want someone he thinks is “neither tough nor particularly smart as his secretary of state,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “The president certainly never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent. He made a joke - nothing more than that.”
Trump “has full confidence in the secretary of state,” Sanders said. “They had a great visit earlier today, and they’re working hand in hand to move the president’s agenda forward.”
When asked why the president thinks he has a higher IQ than the secretary of state, Sanders replied, “He made a joke. Maybe you guys should get a sense of humor and try it sometime, but he simply made a joke.
“He’s been extremely clear, time and time again, despite the fact that you guys want to continue to bring this up and create a story,” she said.
“He’s got 100 percent confidence in the Secretary of State. He said it multiple times over the last couple of weeks, and we’re trying to move forward and focus on the agenda while you guys want to move forward and talk about who likes who, when that’s simply not what we’re doing here,” Sanders said.