Global News

Trump plans to replace Tillerson with Pompeo

Trump plans to replace Tillerson with Pompeo

Tillerson would be replaced within weeks by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a Trump loyalist and foreign policy hardliner, under a White House plan to carry out the most significant staff shake-up so far of the Trump administration.

The news that the White House is seriously considering replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo comes as Trump remains deeply frustrated with his secretary of state, another source familiar with the President's thinking said. In October the former oil executive called an extraordinary impromptu press conference as reports circled that he had called the president "a moron".

The strategy to remove Tillerson comes amid strained relations between President Donald Trump and his top diplomat.

It is exceedingly rare for a secretary of state, America's face on the global stage, to be fired or to serve for a year or less.

"There are no personnel announcements at this time", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later said in a statement that left Tillerson twisting in the wind.

The nature of the reported change also suggests a change in the administration's focus, with Tillerson having, for instance, ruled out imposing regime change in North Korea, while Pompeo, said to be a Trump favorite recently, has openly advocated it. The timeline for implementing it, they write, would be "around the end of the year or shortly afterward".

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.

"The succession thing to me is just chatter at the moment", they said.

Indications are that Pompeo's departure from the Central Intelligence Agency would be followed by Sen. She says Tillerson continues to lead the department.

Does the president still have confidence in Tillerson?

That's according to two administration officials.

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

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.