WaPo: Pompeo No Longer Top Choice To Replace Tillerson At State Department

CIA Director Mike Pompeo speaks during the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) National Security Summit in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP

CIA Director Mike Pompeo will likely stay at his post within the intelligence agency instead of taking over the State Department, according to a new report in The Washington Post Friday.

Last month, multiple outlets reported that White House chief of staff John Kelly was orchestrating a plan to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with Pompeo. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was floated to replace Pompeo, but his D.C. office denied those claims.

In a sweeping report on the swelling tensions between Tillerson, Trump and his own staff, The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed White House officials, that Pompeo will likely stay in his current position because Trump enjoys his daily briefings. The New York Times reported in November that Trump has become increasingly fond of Pompeo, as the former three-term Congressman tends to offer the President advice on issues far outside his reach as CIA director.

The White House has publicly denied that its developing plans to push out Tillerson after the first of the year — “Rex is here,” Trump told reporters last month. But a senior Trump official told The Washington Post that U.S. allies “know at this point that (Tillerson’s) not really speaking for the administration.”

Trump is currently particularly peeved by Tillerson’s stances on how to quell mounting tensions with North Korea and Tillerson is reportedly at his wit’s end with the White House over its delay in filling key State Department positions, according to the officials who spoke with The Washington Post.

Tillerson and Trump have been at odds for months. Over the summer, Tillerson reportedly threatened to resign and called Trump a “moron.”

Trump has in turn claimed he has a higher I.Q. than Tillerson and publicly criticized Tillerson’s diplomatic efforts in North Korea, saying the secretary of state is “wasting his time.”

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