World

Moron? Trump says he'll beat Tillerson in IQ test

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has dismissed reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson once called him a "moron" - but just to make it clear that he's smarter than Mr Tillerson, he has suggested taking IQ tests to prove it.

Last week, Mr Tillerson was forced to say Mr Trump is smart following an NBC News report that he had called the president a moron after a July meeting.

Nevertheless, something about the incident still seems to bother Mr Trump, who was due to have lunch with Mr Tillerson at the White House later yesterday.

"I think it's fake news," Mr Trump told Forbes magazine. "But if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win."

The report came just days after he upbraided the former ExxonMobil CEO for "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea.

In a separate development, Mr Trump said he has prepared an "economic-development" measure that would punish companies that globally outsource jobs.

The bill would provide economic incentives for companies, Mr Trump said in an interview with Forbes magazine published yesterday. It would reward firms that maintain jobs in the US and deliver punitive measures against those that move operations offshore.

"It's both a carrot and a stick," Mr Trump said. "It is an incentive to stay. But it is perhaps even more so - if you leave, it's going to be very tough for you to think that you're going to be able to sell your product back into our country."

He did not specify what the rewards or punishments would be. The White House was not immediately available to comment. - WIRE SERVICES

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