After months of clashes on policy and personality, President Donald Trump is considering ousting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with hard-nosed CIA Director Mike Pompeo following less than a year on the job, senior USA officials said Thursday as turmoil within Trump's national security team burst into the open.
Pompeo is reportedly much closer to President Trump and has a good relationship with the President, unlike Tillerson, who has appeared to distance himself from Trump on a number of occasions.
Trump asked John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, to develop the transition strategy, and it has been discussed with other officials, one administration source said.
That followed a tweet by Trump that Tillerson should not waste his time by seeking negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear and missile program, widely seen as a sign of the secretary of state being marginalized.
Perhaps more damaging for his internal prospects, though, was a report in October that Tillerson had called Trump a "moron" at one point in the summer - a report Tillerson has conspicuously never denied.
White House officials confirm a plan is under discussion to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo, and Pompeo with Cotton. She says Tillerson continues to lead the department.
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A protester walks near burning tents during clashes with police at Faizabad junction in Islamabad, Pakistan November 25, 2017. The protesters, belonging to the Tehreek-e-Labbaik, broke into and ransacked the minister's haveli, Express News reported.
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She noted that the State Department, the lead federal permitting agency, did not analyze the alternative route. TransCanada's reaction to the PSC decision was muted, with the company saying it is "evaluating" the finding.
The response was equally uninspired from the White House briefing room, where White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said simply that "when the President loses confidence in someone, they will no longer serve in the capacity that they're in".
That Mr Tillerson has struggled to forge a comfortable relationship with Mr Trump has always been an open secret in Washington.
Mr Cotton, the senator for Arkansas, has been a key ally of the president on national security matters.
If carried out, the staff changes would be the latest in a string of firings or resignations in the Trump administration including the departures of the chief of staff, national security adviser and Federal Bureau of Investigation director. Bill to save cyber diplomacy office advances America's decision on North Korea hinges on Trump's success in Asia MORE.
Mr. Trump has been publicly frustrated with his top diplomat.
That's according to two administration officials.