White House plan to replace Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency chief

But he still would suffer from problems that have afflicted Tillerson, chief among them a boss who has shown little regard for diplomacy and no qualms about undermining his secretary of state with tweets, current and former US officials said.

Wallace questioned why the reported plan calls for Tillerson to stay until late January, adding the secretary is scheduled to make a trip to Europe next week to meet with key USA allies.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later told reporters: "As the President just said, 'Rex is here.' There are no personnel announcements at this time".

There's talk the White House is planning to replace Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo.

Mr Tillerson could go within weeks, administration sources said today, with Mr Pompeo, a former congressman who has impressed Mr Trump at his daily intelligence briefings, being replaced at Langley, the CIA headquarters, by Tom Cotton, a hawkish Republican congressman from Arkansas.


Both CNN and Bloomberg subsequently reported that the White House is weighing replacing Tillerson with Pompeo.

Though Tillerson has publicly denied being unhappy or seeking to resign, it's been repeatedly reported by top officials, including Sen. Other officials say the Trump-Tillerson relationship has been souring for some time, despite Tillerson's denials.

Relations between President Trump and the senior member of his Cabinet - the former CEO of Exxon Mobil - have been strained nearly from the start. "I serve at the appointment of the president and I am here as long as the president feels I can be useful to achieving his objectives". 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. Trump also deemed diplomacy with North Korea a waste of time, when Tillerson was pursuing just that.

Tillerson has embittered many in the State Department by embracing the planned budget cut, failing to get top officials into key diplomatic jobs, relying on a handful of aides and keeping his distance from career diplomats.

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. Still, Tillerson aides say he expects to remain in his role to see the overhaul through. The senator has advised Trump on issues like the Iran nuclear deal and immigration.


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