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m3n4.net December 14, 2017


Reported plans to fire Tillerson roil State Department

01 December 2017, 05:42 | Tara Lloyd

Reported plans to fire Tillerson roil State Department

Reported plans to fire Tillerson roil State Department

A succession plan appears to be in place after a year of a strained relationship between President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, according to reports. Under Arkansas law, if Cotton steps down before next July, the state's Republican governor would appoint a replacement who would serve until the November 2018 election.

Some argued that things at the State Department can hardly get worse than they have been under Tillerson, whose 10-month reign has been marked by an exodus of top diplomats, deep dismay at planned 30 percent budget cuts, and conflicts with Trump.

Under the plan, which the paper said was developed by White House chief of staff John Kelly, Pompeo would be replaced at the Central Intelligence Agency by Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and an important Trump ally on national security issues.

"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.

In a news briefing, Nauert was asked how Tillerson will conduct normal diplomatic work next week when he meets his counterparts on a visit to Europe given the growing reports that he is a short-timer and does not enjoy the president's confidence. He's heard these stories before.

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A source familiar with Tillerson's thinking said the secretary of state's original plan when he took the job was to leave in February.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says there are "no personnel announcements at this time". But Trump never signed off, and officials have struggled to focus his attention on the matter, the individual said. Axios's Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan reported last month that Pompeo's stock was rising in the White House and that he was a leading contender to replace Tillerson.

He has offered effusive praise for Trump in interviews and speeches despite the president's public criticism of USA intelligence agencies and his dismissal of the finding by some of them that Russian Federation conducted an influence campaign to boost Trump over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 election.

Tillerson has at times put distance between himself and Trump's positions.

Tillerson joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing a skeptical Trump not to pull the United States out of an agreement with Iran and world powers over Tehran's nuclear capabilities.

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Now, CBS News has confirmed the White House has a plan to force Tillerson out.

When Tillerson in June called on Arab nations to ease their blockade on Qatar, Trump emerged in the Rose Garden hours later to lambaste Qatar for funding terrorism.

In late September, while on a trip to Beijing, Tillerson said Washington was probing North Korea to see whether it was interested in dialogue, and had multiple direct channels of communication with Pyongyang.

"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.

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