WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump has sacked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and appointed CIA Chief Mike Pompeo as New Secretary of State.
Donald Trump <link>himself was less reassuring, however. When asked whether Tillerson would stay in his job, the president simply noted that the secretary of state was at the White House on Thursday.
“He’s here. Rex is here,” Trump said.
The cryptic non-denial added fuel to multiple reports quoting White House officials as saying a plan was under consideration to get rid of Tillerson, put Pompeo, a former Republican congressman in his place, and make Senator Tom Cotton, another Trump loyalist, CIA <link>director.
The reports of a reshuffle among top foreign policy and national security officials came against a backdrop of stories of clashes between Trump and Tillerson. According to the New York Times, the first to report an impending departure, the plan was being put together by the White House chief of staff, John Kelly.
But state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that Kelly had called after the news reports broke and insisted they were false.
“What I can tell you is that chief of staff Kelly called our department this morning and said that the rumours are not true, that those reports are not true. That is what I’ve been told,’ Nauert said.