Rex Tillerson

The past few days have been particularly chaotic, even for a president who seems to thrive on self-created chaos.

There's been a feud with a key Republican senator, a flare-up at a professional football game with President Trump instructing his vice president to walk out when players (on the most activist team in the NFL) knelt during the national anthem, and he even questioned the IQ of his secretary of state.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Rex Tillerson denied a report out early Wednesday that he considered resigning as secretary of state, but he did not deny another detail in the report — that he called President Trump a "moron."

The rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea cooled for a day — and just a day only, it appears.

Roughly 24 hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the U.S. has been engaged in diplomatic talks with Pyongyang, President Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to deride the effort — as well as Kim Jong Un.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

As the leaders of two nuclear-armed countries trade threats, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Trump "is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn't seem to understand diplomatic language."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recertified Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal late Monday, but senior administration officials emphasized that Tehran is a dangerous threat to both U.S. interests and Middle East stability.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson touched down in Kuwait City on Monday, opening a series of talks aimed at ending a diplomatic impasse between Qatar and four of its Arab neighbors.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he wants flexibility as he tries to improve ties with Russia. U.S. lawmakers, however, are going in another direction.

The Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill to impose new sanctions on Russia and to make sure the Trump administration doesn't change course without congressional buy-in.

In his first interview with NPR, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has a wide-ranging interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep.

Steve Inskeep: I want to begin with North Korea. We heard when you said, "the era of strategic patience is over," so we know what your policy is not. Is there a word or phrase you can give us to say what your approach to North Korea is?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: Yes, our approach to North Korea is to have them change their posture towards any future talks.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he had a "productive" meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Wednesday, despite palpable tension between the U.S. and Russia.

"There is a low level of trust between our two countries," Tillerson said after the meeting. "The world's two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship."

Prompted by a chemical weapons attack, the U.S. loosed dozens of Tomahawk missiles last week on an air base operated by Syrian President Bashar Assad, the embattled ally of Russia.

A U.S. Navy strike group has been ordered to relocate to the western Pacific Ocean, providing a physical presence near the Korean Peninsula as concerns mount over North Korea's missile program.

The Pentagon announced the deployment late Saturday. In a statement, U.S. Pacific Command spokesman David Benham said the Carl Vinson Strike Group set sail toward the peninsula from Singapore.

At the State Department on Wednesday, officials from 68 countries and organizations gathered for a two-day summit to coordinate plans to fight ISIS. This was the first full meeting of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS since 2014, and a chance for the Trump administration to flesh out what it wants to do differently.

So far, it is mainly stepping up a fight that the Obama administration put in motion.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

The White House says President Trump will attend a NATO meeting on May 25 in Brussels, and "looks forward to meeting with his NATO counterparts to reaffirm our strong commitment to NATO, and to discuss issues critical to the alliance, especially allied responsibility-sharing and NATO's role in the fight against terrorism."

The statement follows criticism of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's announced intention to visit Russia in April, but not take part in a NATO foreign ministers meeting, which is also next month.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. doesn't want to take military action against North Korea, but "all of the options are on the table" if a serious threat arises. Tillerson made his frank remarks in a visit to South Korea on Friday, a day after saying diplomatic efforts "have failed" to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

Tillerson's Asia tour began in Japan and will end in China. The top American diplomat is traveling without a press contingent.

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It was a long day for Rex Tillerson. He spent all day yesterday answering questions from lawmakers who are trying to figure out if the Texas oil man should be the next U.S. secretary of state.

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As head of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson had license to work out deals with roguish foreign leaders. He was supposed to sniff out countries at risk of instability far into the future. He commanded a workforce circling the globe and had a writ that extended from the Arctic oceans to the desert sands.

In other words, the job he is leaving has much in common with the secretary of state post he has been nominated for in Donald Trump's incoming administration.

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Several of Donald Trump's Cabinet choices have prompted controversy from the moment they were named, but the one most likely to face real Senate opposition is Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, whom Trump wants as his secretary of state.

How badly did Trump want Tillerson on his team? Badly enough to defend his pick's remarkable profile as a Russophile, a reputation so vivid that several Republican senators immediately began flashing yellow cards — if not red.

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It's official - President-elect Trump has announced he intends to nominate ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state. For more we're going to turn now to NPR's Michele Kelemen. Good morning, Michele.

President-elect Donald Trump, in a statement early this morning, announced his intention to nominate ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department and become the country's top diplomat.

The selection, which had been rumored for the past week, is unusual in a number of ways, and could face more scrutiny than usual when the Senate holds confirmation hearings.

Here are some key facts about the president-elect's nominee for the final major position to be filled in his Cabinet:

A few years ago, when ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson hobnobbed with Russian President Vladimir Putin, they didn't draw much attention. But photos of those meetings re-emerged over the weekend, as multiple media reports named the Texas oilman as the favorite to become Donald Trump's secretary of state.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump is leaning towards choosing Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state, according to multiple news reports this weekend. NPR has not independently confirmed those reports. The potential pick is already drawing scrutiny for the ExxonMobil CEO's close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.