U.S. Department of State / Flickr Secretary Tillerson Delivers Remarks on the...
U.S. Department of State / Flickr

The White House has plans to replace Rex Tillerson and move Mike Pompeo from the CIA to replace Tillerson as Secretary of State, between now and the first of the year. New York Times:

Mr. Pompeo would be replaced at the C.I.A. by Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who has been a key ally of the president on national security matters, according to the White House plan. Mr. Cotton has signaled that he would accept the job if offered, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations before decisions are announced.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Trump has given final approval to the plan, but he has been said to have soured on Mr. Tillerson and in general is ready to make a change at the State Department. John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, developed the transition plan and has discussed it with other officials.

At the same time, there was some concern in the White House about the appearance of a rush to the exits given that other senior officials may also leave in the early part of the new year. White House officials were debating whether it would be better to spread out any departures or just get them over with all at once.

Tillerson and Trump have never had an easy go of it, with Tillerson famously calling Trump, “a fucking moron,” and Trump telling Tillerson he was “wasting his time” negotiating with North Korea.  Ostensibly, Trump gets along much better with Mike Pompeo. Whether Pompeo will continue the gutting of the State Department that Tillerson had in progress is not known at this time.

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