Relations between Trump, Tillerson strained nearly from the start

Relations between Trump, Tillerson strained nearly from the start

Reports that the White House has a tentative plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that emerged Thursday were an effort to express President Donald Trump's deep displeasure and publicly shame his secretary of state, a source with direct knowledge of the White House's thinking said Thursday.

Mr. Trump on Thursday refused to answer questions about a White House plan to replace Tillerson after less than a year on the job.

Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) would replace Pompeo in Foggy Bottom, according to the officials who wished to remain anonymous before the decisions are announced.

Mr Tillerson's relationship with the president is thought to have been strained after reports emerged that he had called Mr Trump a "moron" during a meeting at the Pentagon.

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In October, Tillerson shot down a report that said he had been on the verge of resigning from his Cabinet position over the summer.

"He remains secretary of State", she added. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tillerson "is here" and there are "no personnel announcements to be made at this time".

It was not immediately clear whether Trump had given final approval to the reshuffle, but one of the officials said the president asked for the plan to be put together.

"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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Indications are that Pompeo's departure from the Central Intelligence Agency would be followed by Sen. Tillerson could be ousted in the coming weeks, the New York Times reported, citing anonymous senior administration officials.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson participates in a panel discussion at the Wilson Center in Washington, U.S., November 28, 2017.

He has also been a defender of the global community's nuclear deal with Iran - an agreement Trump pledged to scrap on the campaign trail, and has continued to lambast after taking office.

Tillerson has taken a more hawkish view than Trump on Russian Federation and tried to mediate a dispute after four Arab nations launched a boycott of Qatar.

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But others argued that any new secretary of state would face the same obstacles as Tillerson, who was undercut this year when Trump told his chief diplomat to stop "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea.

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