newsmoments.net
newsmoments.net December 17, 2017


Trump weighs plan to oust Tillerson

01 December 2017, 06:19 | Simon Arnold

Rex W. Tillerson in September at the White House. Credit Doug Mills The New York Times

Rex W. Tillerson in September at the White House. Credit Doug Mills  The New York Times

While acknowledging leaking the plan to journalist might be designed as an overt "signal to [Tillerson] that it is time to go", the Times reports that the "shake-up of the national security team", apparently being orchestrated by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, "would happen around the end of the year or shortly afterward".

Kelly Arnold, chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, says Pompeo's time as director of the Central Intelligence Agency gives a good indication of what his approach to leading the State Department might be.

Trump was alienated by the reported "moron" comment and Tillerson positions that differ from Trump's on North Korea and the Gulf standoff between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, said another senior official.

"He's here. Rex is here", Trump said in the Oval Office when asked if he wants Tillerson to remain in his job.


Tillerson answered that "the president speaks for himself".

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". 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.

Tillerson is also understood to have had a fraught relationship with Kushner and Ms. Trump, reportedly referring to the high-profile Manhattanite couple as "the royal family".

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. Both Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward are under consideration for that post.


Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hopes Rex Tillerson stays on as the USA secretary of state.

The president and Mr Tillerson have also been at odds over a range of policy issues, including the Iran nuclear deal and the approach the U.S. should take with North Korea.

However, they said Pompeo would need to resist the planned budget cuts and find a way to grapple with Trump's tweets.

Mr. Trump has been publicly frustrated with his top diplomat.




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