But former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a rare appearance this week that Trump's own orders in the White House often crossed the line of legality, according to reporting from the Houston Chronicle.
As President Donald Trump spent most of Friday morning ranting and raving about his alleged misgivings about the Russian Federation investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller, news also broke that a former official in his administration had some of the same criticisms the president was leveling.
NBC News reported in October 2017 that Tillerson, then still secretary of state, called Trump a "moron" in a meeting.
"Rex Tillerson didn't have the mental capacity needed. I didn't know how to conduct my affairs with him any other way than in a very straightforward fashion, and I think he grew exhausted of me being the guy every day that told him, 'You can't do that, '" he said.
Amid reports the Tillerson would be gone soon, Trump tweeted last December: "The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon - FAKE NEWS!"
The tweet apparently came in response to Tillerson's remarks Thursday saying that President Trump would "often" ask him to do things that were illegal during his 13-month tenure as America's top diplomat.
The US President lashed out at Mr Tillerson in an unprecedented series on insults published earlier today on Twitter. "I think he really is trying to act on his instincts". "And if that's what you want to do, there's nothing wrong with that".
"I'd have to say to him, 'Well Mr. President, I understand what you want to do, but you can't do it that way. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!" "It violates the law", Tillerson said. "It violates the law".
"He acts on his instincts, in some respects it looks like impulsiveness..."
Tillerson, 66, was sacked from the White House in March after rumors of a rift between him and Trump had been circulating for some time.
As others have noted, this sounds like a more elaborate, refined version of a comment Tillerson is alleged to have made about Trump while he was still as State. But things did not work out between them and he had once reportedly called the president a "moron" and never expressly denied it.