Trump may replace Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo

Casey Dawson
December 1, 2017

Reports have emerged that President Donald Trump is planning to oust Mr Tillerson and replace him with Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly developed the transition plan and has discussed it with other officials, the Times reported.

In a major foreign policy speech on U.S. relations with Europe under Trump's "America First" foreign policy, Tillerson pledged that sanctions against Russian Federation will remain in place until it helps restore peace in Ukraine.

President Donald Trump brushed aside reports Thursday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's exit is imminent.

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.

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.

"He remains secretary of State", she added.

"There are no personnel announcements at this time", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later said in a statement that left Tillerson twisting in the wind.

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Asked what he made of Tillerson's reported pending departure, Mattis said: "I make nothing of it".

Friction between the president and the nation's top diplomat has grown increasingly public through the year.

"So the question is not whether Pompeo can do the job but whether the president is going to let Pompeo do the job".

Tillerson successfully convinced Mr. Trump to keep the the Iran nuclear deal.

Vanity Fair, citing current and former State Department employees, confirmed the plan, as did CNN. But he now appears poised to lose an argument: over Tillerson's objections, the president is poised to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The two have clashed on policy issues, including North Korea.

The White House says Rex Tillerson continues to lead the State Department.

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