Trump plans to replace Tillerson with Pompeo

Aaron Brown
December 1, 2017

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.

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

"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.

Observers across the political and foreign policy spectrum tend to view Tillerson as a failure at the State Department. The report said that Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a pro-torture pick that's also likely to attract a lot of scrutiny.

Baker and Haberman write that it is "not immediately clear whether Mr. Trump has given final approval to the plan", but that Chief of Staff John Kelly has drawn it up and widely circulated it.

In October the former oil executive called an extraordinary impromptu press conference as reports circled that he had called the president "a moron".

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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The next day, Trump appeared to dismiss those efforts in a tweet, telling Tillerson he was "wasting his time".

Trump has continually tweeted his doubts about a diplomatic solution to the problem, including today. And the plan is not just being considered at the staff level, but by the President himself, the source said. "He serves at the pleasure of the president".

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

As a member of Congress, she noted, Pompeo represented Wichita, Kansas, where Koch Industries is based, has been called the "Koch Brothers' favorite congressman". Tillerson's advice to Trump to stay in the Paris climate deal and certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal was similarly overruled.

Several administration officials said that Pompeo has said previously he's open to the job.

"We disagree on a couple of things", Mr. Trump has said.

In September in Beijing, Tillerson said Washington was probing North Korea to see whether it was interested in dialog, and had multiple direct channels of communication with Pyongyang.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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