With his forced resignation, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis joins a long list of departures from the Trump administration.
US President called his former secretary of state Rex Tillerson "dumb as a rock," in a harsh reply to criticism in an interview by the ex-cabinet member.
Trump issued the challenge in an interview with Forbes magazine, when asked about reports that Tillerson called him a "moron" after a classified briefing this summer. The White House and the State Department suggested the president was "joking".
Tillerson refused to directly address the damaging allegation in a detailed NBC News report - that he had called Trump a "moron" in front of senior officials.
A senate committee approved US President Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state, despite concerns over Tillerson's dealings with Russia.
Rex Tillerson's past ties to Russia dominated his confirmation hearing.
Tillerson, a businessman with deep ties to Russia, has come to the fore amid mounting support for a congressional probe into Moscow's alleged interference in the US election.
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