President Donald Trump is thinking about forcing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson out of office, according to a report in the New York Times.
The report details a plan developed by White House chief of staff John Kelly that would replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, not U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, a popular choice for Washington insiders.
Sen. Tom Cotton, according to sources, would replace Pompeo at the CIA.
Tillerson’s reputation has shifted since he first took the position of Secretary of State, as he struggled to maintain a relationship with the president. Career diplomats and journalists openly criticized him for “gutting” the State Department.
Reports that Tillerson described the president as a “fu*king moron” didn’t help.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 4, 2017
Another report claimed that Tillerson threatened to resign after Trump delivered an intensely political speech at the annual Boy Scout Jamboree.
But Trump denied those reports as “fake news.”
As the former CEO of Exxon-Mobil, Tillerson was a dark horse candidate for Secretary of State that surprised the establishment when Trump picked him.
The majority of career diplomats and foreign policy wonks were angered by his attempts to reorganize the department. Trump allies soon viewed him as a “low energy” official that spent more time trying to protect his own image instead of articulating the Trump agenda.