Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson denied seeking to undermine President Trump after former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley claimed he was trying to work around Trump. “During my service to our country as the secretary of state, at no time did I, nor to my direct knowledge did anyone else serving along with me, take any actions to undermine the president,” Tillerson told The Washington Post. “My conversations with the president in the privacy of the Oval Office were always candid, frank, and my recommendations straightforward. Once the president made a decision, we at the State Department undertook our best efforts to implement that decision.” Tillerson added that Haley was “rarely a participant” in many of his meetings with the president and “not in a position to know what (he) may or may not have said to the president.”
In her new book, Haley claimed that Tillerson—along with former chief of staff John Kelly—argued that she should work with them to shift U.S. policy away from what they considered to be the reckless policies Trump set forth. “Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” Haley wrote. Haley also claimed that Tillerson told her people would die if Trump was left unchecked.