Rex Tillerson denies he considered quitting over reports of Trump rift

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson has denied reports he considered stepping down because of tensions between him and Donald Trump.

Mr Tillerson, America's top diplomat, told reporters on Wednesday: "I have never considered leaving this post. I am here for as long as the President feels I can be useful to achieving his objectives.

"My commitment to the success of our President and our country is as strong as it was the day I accepted his offer to serve as secretary of state."

NBC News had earlier reported that Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials had to persuade the former ExxonMobil boss to stay on during the summer.

However, following the reports, an adviser to Mr Pence said he had never discussed the prospect of Mr Tillerson resigning from the Trump administration.

Aide Jarrod Agen said "any reporting to the contrary is categorically false".

Mr Trump tweeted in response to the reports on Thursday, saying: "Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by @NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me."

Mr Tillerson's stint as secretary of state has seen persistent rumours about his dismay at the President's policies, and NBC claimed he referred to Mr Trump as a "moron" during a Pentagon meeting in July.

He did not explicitly deny that claim, but said: "We don't deal with that kind of petty nonsense. I'm just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration."

A State Department spokeswoman denied Mr Tillerson made the comment, and added the secretary of state did not offer an apology to the President because "one was not needed".

Mr Tillerson was also said to be unhappy at apparently being undermined by the President on foreign policy issues, such as Qatar and Iran.

Mr Tillerson's frustrations reportedly came to a head when Mr Trump made a politicised speech to a Boy Scouts of America gathering - an organisation he once led.

But the secretary of state threw his weight firmly behind his boss in his rare TV address.

"President Trump's foreign policy goals break the mould of what people traditionally think is achievable on behalf of our country," he said.

The President launched a familiar attack on the media just before Mr Tillerson appeared in front of the cameras.

"NBC news is #FakeNews and more dishonest than even CNN," he tweeted. "They are a disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news ratings are way down!"

Half an hour later, he added: "The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is #FakeNews. They should issue an apology to AMERICA!"

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes