Tillerson Says He's Learning to Enjoy Job But Misses His Horse

(Bloomberg) -- Rex Tillerson has had public disagreements with his boss, Donald Trump, and private concerns about the role the president’s son-in-law is playing in the Middle East, but the secretary of state said he’s “learning to enjoy” his role as America’s top diplomat.

“Look, this is a hard job. I start every morning with the thought -- how can I keep somebody from being killed today,” Tillerson told employees at the State Department Tuesday, in his first building-wide question and answer session with staff since taking office in January.

That said, Tillerson sounded eager to take a break from Washington, saying he’s looking forward to seeing the cowboys on his ranch in Texas over the holidays.

“I believe in the Code of the West,” Tillerson said, describing plans to saddle up his favorite horse, Blue. “And the Code of the West had basically one tenet: your word is your bond.”

Trump provided a boost to Tillerson early this month when he rejected reports that he was looking to oust the former Exxon Mobil Corp. chief executive officer. Administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity had said the president was considering replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

“He’s not leaving and while we disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!” Trump wrote on Twitter Dec. 1.

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