White House says Tillerson to remain as secretary of state

Posted December 01, 2017

WASHINGTON, United States - The White House has a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo within weeks, the New York Times reported Thursday, November 30.

The news that the White House is seriously considering replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo comes as Trump remains deeply frustrated with his secretary of state, another source familiar with the President's thinking said.

The ouster of Mr. Tillerson would end a turbulent reign at the State Department for the former Exxon Mobil chief executive, who has been largely marginalized over the previous year.

Perhaps more damaging for his internal prospects, though, was a report in October that Tillerson had called Trump a "moron" at one point in the summer - a report Tillerson has conspicuously never denied.

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Asked on Thursday if he wanted Tillerson to stay, Trump sidestepped the question saying: "He's here".

Tillerson answered that "the president speaks for himself". Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

She says Tillerson continues to lead the department, and that the entire Cabinet is focused on completing Trump's first year in office.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says there are "no personnel announcements at this time".

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In 10 months as America's chief diplomat, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has found no world leader a greater challenge than the President of the United States. Vanity Fair separately reported that Pompeo could replace Tillerson as early as January.

Ms Bishop says she has formed a very close personal and professional working relationship with Mr Tillerson and would be "very sorry" to see him go.

However, they said Pompeo would need to resist the planned budget cuts and find a way to grapple with Trump's tweets.

At a private dinner of foreign policy veterans last month, a senior White House official criticized Tillerson for failing to support the president's agenda, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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"It's been evident to me that for some time, somebody is, you know, seeking to undermine his presence here", Corker said.