Mike Pompeo might bring assets to 'hellish' secretary of state role

Trump is considering replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo by January 20, a year after Trump's inauguration, a source close to the administration told The Times, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal workings at the White House. Tom Cotton (R-AR) would then succeed Pompeo as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has had a troubled year at the State Department, his attempts to improve the department met with scorn from other top officials, and his talk of diplomacy undercut, often very publicly, by the president.

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.

But White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn't deny it. Tillerson, meanwhile, was one of the most prominent members of Trump's administration who called not to withdraw from the deal, but instead, to remain committed to it and make sure it is rigorously enforced. The timeline for implementing it, they write, would be "around the end of the year or shortly afterward".

"Secretary Tillerson enjoys this job, he has a lot of work to do", she said.

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"It's been evident to me that for some time, somebody is, you know, seeking to undermine his presence here", Corker said.

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.

He has offered effusive praise for Trump despite the president's criticism of US intelligence agencies, some of which concluded that Russian Federation conducted an influence campaign to boost Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Tillerson could be ousted in the coming weeks, the New York Times reported, citing anonymous senior administration officials. And the plan is not just being considered at the staff level, but by the President himself, the source said.

In September in Beijing, Tillerson said Washington was probing North Korea to see whether it was interested in dialogue and had multiple direct channels of communication with Pyongyang.

"He's here. Rex is here", Trump offered, noting that Tillerson was in the building - but not in the room - at the time.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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