"I was admonishing the journalist or the fake news complex that are forcing our chief diplomat into a position where they're demanding he makes the military case for action when that is not the mandate of the secretary of state", Gorka added.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said in an interview with Phoenix radio station KTAR that he takes "exception to the President's comments because you've got to be sure that you can do what you say you're going to do".
She told reporters Mr Trump was "sending a strong message" to Kim Jong-un to stop the power-crazed despot sparking a nuclear war.
While Trump on Tuesday warned North Korea not to threaten the US and spoke of meeting the North with "fire and fury like the world has never seen", Tillerson on Wednesday played down those comments and said Trump "just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the U.S.'s unquestionable ability to defend itself".
In a letter organized by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), 62 Democrats of the House of Representatives expressed "profound concern" over Trump's statements, apparently referring to his threat to unleash "fire and fury" in response to the North's vows to attack the United States.
"Should Tillerson be listened to?" a reporter asked.
"North Korea has said they wish to annihilate the United States and use nuclear weapons".
Gorka's comments about Tillerson raised eyebrows in part because of the dissonant messaging on North Korea, which continued Thursday. Tillerson isn't in charge of defense strategy, he said. "We'll see what happens".
"I said for reporters to force our chief diplomat, the fantastic Rex Tillerson, to give details of military options is nonsensical", Gorka said. "But I think what the President was just reaffirming is the United States has the capability to fully defend itself with any attack, will defend our allies, and we will do so".
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert condemned the rogue state's "provocative" missile tests during a press briefing. It's the "Madman theory" that says you want your enemies to think you're capable of anything. He's a Cabinet secretary. "He's fourth in line to the presidency", Nauert said.