Trump to Oust Tillerson, Replace Him With Mike Pompeo

Dec 01, 2017, 06:20
Trump to Oust Tillerson, Replace Him With Mike Pompeo

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 State Department says White House chief of staff John Kelly is disputing reports of a plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The overhaul could produce a significant shift in both the tone and direction of the president's foreign policy, removing it from the understated former oil man whose style has never fit well with Trump's.

"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace reacted on "Outnumbered Overtime", saying it "sure does seem like Tillerson is on the way out" given that White House statement.

Trump has soured on Tillerson mostly because of the "moron" report, his less confrontational approach on North Korea and differences over the Qatar crisis, one senior USA official said.

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"He's here. Rex is here", Trump said in the Oval Office when asked if he wants Tillerson to remain in his job.

Does the president still have confidence in Tillerson?

But the White House's tentative plans to replace Pompeo at the Central Intelligence Agency with Sen. A few weeks later, Tillerson voiced his support for the president after a report claimed that he had called Trump a "moron" after a meeting on Afghanistan.

If carried out, the staff changes would be the latest in a string of firings or resignations in the Trump administration including the departures of the chief of staff, national security adviser and Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

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That Mr Tillerson has struggled to forge a comfortable relationship with Mr Trump has always been an open secret in Washington.

Friction between the president and the nation's top diplomat has grown increasingly public through the year. Tillerson has been overtly refusing to take Trump's hostile line on North Korea.

That's according to two administration officials.

A senior administration official who spoke recently with Tillerson says the former Exxon Mobil CEO felt secure in his position and was focused on his State Department reorganization and other diplomacy matters.

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