Trump Quashes Rumors That Tillerson Is On His Way Out: ‘He’s Not Leaving’

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Cliff Owen/FR170079 AP

President Donald Trump on Friday denied reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on his way out.

According to the White House schedule, Trump tweeted the comment after a private lunch, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET, with Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

On Thursday, unnamed administration sources told the New York Times and other outlets that the Trump administration was considering a plan to replace Tillerson at the State Department with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and that Pompeo would in turn be replaced by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK).

Neither the White House nor the State Department confirmed that reporting, and on Friday Tillerson called it “laughable.” Trump on Thursday said simply that “Rex is here.”

CNN’s Michelle Kosinski reported Thursday that the rumors may have been an effort to air the President’s unhappiness with Tillerson in public.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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