Axelrod: Trump's Tillerson insults 'continue a disturbing portrait'

CNN political analyst and former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE's insults of former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation Trump concealed details of meetings with Putin from senior officials: report MORE are not surprising but do "continue a disturbing portrait of the way the president does his business."

The perspective from Axelrod, who also hosts a weekend program on the network, comes after Tillerson had said in an interview with CBS's Bob Schieffer at a fundraiser in Houston that Trump was "pretty undisciplined, doesn't like to read, doesn't read briefing reports." 


The former ExxonMobil CEO also said the president often asked him to do things that may have been in violation of the law.

The president responded Friday with a tweet calling Tillerson “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell,” while praising Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump has one final chance with American partners of first resort Trump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February Brzezinski: 'I suspect' Dems will nominate woman in 2020, 'past time' to elect female president MORE.

Axelrod told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that while he understood why "the president would be irritated to have a former member of his Cabinet speaking out in that way," he also said, "in a certain, way you could anticipate Trump responding in the manner he did."

"You have to wonder why people accept these jobs [in the Trump administration] ... knowing that if things go south, and they almost always do, it seems, that you are at some time or another going to be on the other end of one of these," Axelrod explained. "But the things that Tillerson said, though not surprising, continue a disturbing portrait of the way the president does his job. That’s probably what we should focus on.”  

Trump has called others "dumb as a rock" in the past, including 2016 GOP opponent former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, CNN's Don Lemon, The Blaze's Glenn Beck, Republican strategist Rick Wilson and HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher.