After months of clashes on policy and personality, President Donald Trump is considering ousting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replacing him with hard-nosed CIA Director Mike Pompeo following less than a year on the job, senior US officials said Thursday as turmoil within Trump's national security team burst into the open.
Wallace questioned why the reported plan calls for Tillerson to stay until late January, adding the secretary is scheduled to make a trip to Europe next week to meet with key USA allies.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly developed the plan to replace Tillerson, the report said, which involves nominating Sen.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Mr Tillerson was still secretary of state.
Perhaps more damaging for his internal prospects, though, was a report in October that Tillerson had called Trump a "moron" at one point in the summer - a report Tillerson has conspicuously never denied.
If Trump went with Pompeo, he would tap a former Army armor officer and Harvard Law School graduate who was in his fourth term representing a Kansas district in Congress when he was chosen to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, where officials say he has enjoyed a less hostile relationship with career spies than Tillerson has had with career diplomats. She did suggest that no move was imminent, saying the president and Tillerson planned to "work together to close out what we've seen to be an incredible year".
Ivanka Trump to visit Hyderabad tomorrow
He underlined the need to help women entrepreneurs network with mentors, finance and market opportunities. There are another 400 from across other countries and India as the host country will have 500 delegates.
No matter how long Tillerson is allowed to stay on, his stature and ability to speak on Trump's behalf has been impaired, it is widely agreed.
According to Pentagon reporters, Mattis said, when asked about the report, "I make nothing of it; there's nothing to it".
This comes after a bitter few months between Tillerson and Mr. Trump in which the president has repeatedly undermined America's chief diplomat.
A source familiar with Tillerson's thinking said the secretary of state's original plan when he took the job was to leave in February. Too much churn could fuel the perception of chaos in the Trump White House - perhaps one reason he has yet to pull the trigger. Trump also once tweeted that Tillerson was "wasting his time" on diplomatic efforts with North Korea.
A senior administration official who spoke recently with Tillerson says the former Exxon Mobil CEO felt secure in his position and was focused on his State Department reorganization and other diplomacy matters.