For a while there, it looked like Donald Trump might just shrug off reports that Rex Tillerson called him a “fucking moron,” posting a single, not particularly invective-filled tweet in which he denied that his Secretary Of State had ever considered resigning, calling the whole thing “fake news.” The president may have just been biding his time, though, waiting to respond to Tillerson’s alleged insult in an extended interview with Forbes. It’s the savviest of moves, after all, to speak with one of the foremost business magazines–whose validation via valuation the publication notes he’s persistently sought—about that time one of your employees called you a “fucking moron” (we’re going for accuracy, not profanity there).
In the course of the conversation with Forbes, Trump is asked about NBC News’ report that Tillerson was one disgruntled employee after the president questioned his attempts at diplomacy with North Korea instead of using schoolyard tactics like name calling and vague threats (“Pow! to the moon”). “I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests,” Trump says. “And I can tell you who is going to win.”
We don’t have to remind you of all the more pressing matters that need Trump’s attention, like renewing the Jones Act or doing something other than chucking generic paper towels to help Puerto Rico, which he’ll happily set aside to settle a score he isn’t entirely certain he can win, despite what he boasts. After all, going by Forbes’ quotes, when presented with figures that contradict his warped reality—like say, proof that former President Barack Obama did hit a 3.1 percent GDP multiple times in his two-term presidency—Trump just reframes his original statement, in which he claimed Obama had never reached that number at all, telling Forbes that “He never hit it on a yearly basis. Never hit it on a yearly basis.” Finally, some nuance.
But Trump isn’t likely to actually challenge Tillerson to a Stanford-Binet-off. Forbes notes that “big numbers have always attracted Trump, regardless of their accuracy,” so he could very well say he has an IQ of infinity based on this fantastic, beautiful new test he’s just now designed himself, and which Tillerson can never take on account of Trump getting ready to update the test just as soon as he’s found a suitable replacement for the Affordable Healthcare Act.