Amid reports that his White House Chief of Staff might be on his way out, President Donald Trump on Friday said he will nominate former U.S. Attorney General William Barr to serve in that post again, as the President also publicly insulted his former Secretary of State, hours after Rex Tillerson offered a less than flattering review of his time working in the Trump Cabinet.
“A terrific person, a terrific man,” the President said of Barr, who served as Attorney General for the first President Bush.
“He was my first choice from day one,” the President said. “Respected by Republicans and respected by Democrats.”
Barr’s nomination back in the late 1991 generated no controversy, as the Senate approved his choice on a voice vote – that seems unlikely to be duplicated in 2019.
“I think he will serve with great distinction,” the President added.
While the President had high praise for Barr, he took no questions about the future of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, as news reports indicated that Kelly’s future with the White House was tenuous at best.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump publicly unloaded on one former member of his Cabinet, calling his first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ‘dumb as a rock,’ and ‘lazy as hell.’
“I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough,” the President said in a tweet sent from aboard Air Force One.
In a televised conversation last night in Texas with Bob Schieffer of CBS, Tillerson said the President was, ‘pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things.’
That predictably led to a stinging rebuke from the President via Twitter, as he flew back to Washington from an event in Kansas City.
In a tweet from Air Force One, the President said Tiller was “was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell.”
“The President would say here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I want to do it,” Tillerson recounted. “I would have to say to him, Mr. President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way – it violates the law.”
“I think he grew tired of me being the guy every day who said, ‘you can’t do that,'” Tillerson said.