Tillerson denies Haley's claims of taking actions to undermine Trump

Former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonReport: Trump UK ambassador fired deputy for mentioning Obama in speech Overnight Defense: Ex-Navy secretary slams Trump in new op-ed | Impeachment tests Pompeo's ties with Trump | Mexican president rules out US 'intervention' against cartels Pompeo-Trump relationship tested by impeachment inquiry MORE on Monday adamantly denied claims from former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyHaley: Dylann Roof 'hijacked' Confederate flag Trump: Kellyanne Conway 'must have done some bad things' to 'crazy' husband Trump says Pence will remain on 2020 ticket: 'He's our man 100 percent' MORE that he worked to undermine President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE's agenda. 

“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 in a statement. “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."

ADVERTISEMENT

Tillerson, who served as secretary of State during Trump's first year in the White House, added that Haley was "rarely a participant" in the many meetings he had with the president and that she wouldn't be in a position to know what he said. 

In a memoir set to be released on Tuesday, Haley claims that Tillerson and former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE tried to recruit her to subvert Trump as part of a larger effort to "save the country," according to The Washington Post

“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, the Post reported, citing a copy of the new book. 

“It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing,” she continued. 

Haley also reportedly wrote that Tillerson warned that people would die if advisers like them did not take steps to keep Trump in check. Acknowledging that she and Tillerson had their "differences," Haley wrote that the former Exxon CEO "gave off the unmistakable impression that he knew more than everyone else in the room — including the president."

"Rex had different ideas about how the lines of authority and decision-making would be drawn,” she wrote. 

Haley, a former South Carolina governor who resigned from her post in the Trump administration last year, reportedly argued in the book that advisers had an obligation to carry out Trump's wishes since he was chosen by voters. 

Tillerson and Kelly both endured rocky tenures inside the Trump administration. Tillerson, who left his post in March 2018, disagreed with the president on several policy initiatives, including U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal. 

Kelly, who left the White House last December following a 17-month stint as chief of staff, dismissed Haley's claims about working around Trump. 

Kelly told the Post in a statement that if providing Trump "with the best and most open, legal and ethical staffing advice from across the [government] so he could make an informed decision is ‘working against Trump,’ then guilty as charged.”