Ex-Trump campaign adviser on Tillerson remarks: Trump will 'pick a fight with anybody'

A former senior campaign official weighed in on President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE's attack on former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster Trump to tap No. 2 State Dept. official as Russia ambassador Giuliani pressed Trump, Tillerson for Turkish prisoner swap in Oval Office meeting: report MORE during an appearance on “Rising.”

“This is unique to Donald Trump, he’ll pick a fight with anybody — big or small,” Jack KingstonJohon (Jack) Heddens KingstonNancy Pelosi is ready for this fight 5 Republicans who could replace Isakson in Georgia's Senate race Why don't we pay congressional salary based on results? MORE, a senior adviser to the 2016 Trump campaign, told Hill.TV on Thursday.

Kingston added that he would have advised the president to take a different tack and and not engage in such fights.

“Rex Tillerson is not a household name, so why resurrect it,” he said. "It’s just better to say, ‘hey, I get criticism, but I think the results speak for themselves — America is strong.’ ”

Kingston’s comments come after The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Tillerson said during a discussion with lawmakers that Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin: Trump not to blame for lack of improved relations with Russia The Trump doctrine: Principled realism or endemic confusion? Five ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble MORE was better prepared for a key meeting in Germany than President Trump.

Trump later fired back at Tillerson, calling him “dumb as a rock” and claimed that Tillerson “made up” the story.

“Rex Tillerson, a man who is “dumb as a rock” and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State, made up a story (he got fired) that I was out-prepared by Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany,” the president tweeted in part following the Times report.

Tillerson and Trump have long held a contentious relationship, and clashed on a number of foreign policy issues. The former secretary of state also once reportedly called Trump a “moron.”

Other than his meeting with the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week, Tillerson has largely shirked from the public spotlight since his dismissal from the Trump administration in March 2018.

—Tess Bonn