Rising

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

A former senior campaign official weighed in on President Trump's attack on former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during an appearance on "Rising."

"This is unique to Donald Trump, he'll pick a fight with anybody - big or small," Jack Kingston, 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 Putin 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