The secretary of state used the phrase twice when journalists asked him to respond to reports about his potential ouster, The Associated Press reports. Tillerson was asked to respond during a photo op with the Libyan prime minister.
Tensions between President Donald Trump and Tillerson have been rising for months.
The secretary of state held an awkward press conference in October, in which he showered praise on Trump. He called the president “smart” after a report emerged saying he’d threatened to quit over the summer and called Trump a “moron.”
Trump affirmed his support for his secretary of state in a Friday afternoon tweet, calling reports that he might fire Tillerson “fake news.”
This story has been updated with Trump’s tweet.