White House considering major shake-up of Trump's national security team

Trevor Jackson
December 1, 2017

The Trump administration has made a plan to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, two news outlets reported Thursday.

The White House is considering a major shakeup of President Donald Trump's national security team in the coming weeks, according to a report by the New York Times's Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman.

"When the president loses confidence in someone, they will no longer serve here", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said when asked about reports of a staff shake up.

That followed a tweet by Trump that Tillerson should not waste his time by seeking negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear and missile program, widely seen as a sign of the secretary of state being marginalized.

"Secretary Tillerson continues to lead the State Department and the entire cabinet is focused on completing this incredibly successful first year of President Trump's administration".

Trump has soured on Tillerson mostly because of the "moron" report, his less confrontational approach on North Korea and differences over the Qatar crisis, one senior US official said.

Tillerson's likely ouster loomed awkwardly over an Oval Office meeting Thursday between Trump and the visiting Bahraini crown prince.

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Tillerson's aloof management style and cost-saving plan to restructure the State Department, including slashing around 2,000 positions, has not helped his popularity.

But the White House's tentative plans to replace Pompeo at the Central Intelligence Agency with Sen.

This comes after a bitter few months between Tillerson and Mr. Trump in which the president has repeatedly undermined America's chief diplomat.

More junior-level advisers could also use the completion of Trump's first year and tax legislation as a pivot point to move on, leading to another period of uncertainty that has at times overshadowed Trump's tenure, which began on January 20. Too much churn could fuel the perception of chaos in the Trump White House - perhaps one reason he has yet to pull the trigger.

"I think he has represented the United States' interests exceedingly well, particularly in our region", she told Sky News on Friday.

Tillerson is also understood to have had a fraught relationship with Kushner and Ms. Trump, reportedly referring to the high-profile Manhattanite couple as "the royal family".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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