WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Neither the president nor the White House is offering a definitive answer on whether reports are true that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is going to lose his job in the coming weeks.
The President and Tillerson met Thursday on routine business and are set to meet again today for lunch.Yesterday, Mr. Trump gave no indication the meeting would have anything to do with reports Tillerson is about to lose his job.
CBS News has confirmed the White House has drafted and is circulating a plan for Tillerson’s exit, replacing him with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders, when pressed on it, also refused to give a simple yes or no answer on Tillerson’s future.
“When the president loses confidence in someone they will no longer serve in the capacity that they’re in,” she said during Thursday’s press briefing.
The news follows months of growing tension between Tillerson and the President. Among the most high profile disagreements is the North Korea. Shortly after Tillerson announced the U.S. was in diplomatic contact with Pyongyang, Mr. Trump tweeted -quote- “he is wasting his time.”
There’s also the report that in July, Tillerson called the President a moron in front of a group of officials. Still, the State Department insists Tillerson is continuing with business as usual.
“He kind of, you know, brushed this off today. He’s heard these kinds of stories before,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.
The State Department says White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Tillerson’s chief of staff Thursday and told her “the rumors are not true”. Though several well-placed sources tell CBS Kelly has signed off on Tillerson’s exit plan.
If this shuffling does happen, that would leave an opening for CIA Director. Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas would likely be offered that position.