Published: Пт, Декабря 01, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Trump plans State Department shift; AR Sen. Tom Cotton in the mix

Trump plans State Department shift; AR Sen. Tom Cotton in the mix

Tillerson was reported in October to have privately called Trump a "moron," something the secretary of state sought to dismiss.

When the reports emerged, Mr Tillerson repeatedly refused to answer when asked whether he had made the comments.

While President Trump has clashed with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he appears fond of Pompeo, accepting daily briefings from the West Point grad.

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 US official said.

Rex Tillerson Donald Trump
President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a bilateral meeting. AP

Tillerson's likely ouster loomed awkwardly over an Oval Office meeting Thursday between Trump and the visiting Bahraini crown prince. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says there are "no personnel announcements at this time".

The Washington Examiner, citing a former White House aide, reports that Tillerson's decision last week not to send a senior State Department delegation for Ivanka Trump's widely touted trip to the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India was "the last straw" for Kushner and has led him to be a key voice calling for Tillerson to be fired.

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

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

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"There has been a kind of Cold War going on between these two", Wallace noted, adding there has seemed to be a rift between Trump and Tillerson on handling North Korea.

"It's a defense at all costs and a denial of the facts", the USA Today reporter said. On several occasions, the president publicly undercut his diplomatic initiatives.

"This is a hellish environment for a secretary of state", said one State Department official on condition of anonymity. And the plan is not just being considered at the staff level, but by the President himself, the source said.

Pompeo, 53, has taken tough foreign policy stands, especially on Iran, and talked about how his agency is becoming more aggressive and how he has been focusing on deploying more CIA officers overseas. She did suggest that no move was imminent, saying the president and Tillerson planned to "work together to close out what we've seen to be an incredible year".

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