Asked on Thursday if he wanted Tillerson to stay, Trump sidestepped the question saying: "He's here".
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later told reporters: "As the President just said, 'Rex is here.' There are no personnel announcements at this time".
By September, the White House was telling some people that Tillerson would be replaced and some issues needing sign-off from the secretary of state were being put off until after he was gone, said a senior administration official, who like others wasn't authorized to comment publicly and demanded anonymity.
Mr Tillerson could go within weeks, administration sources said today, with Mr Pompeo, a former congressman who has impressed Mr Trump at his daily intelligence briefings, being replaced at Langley, the CIA headquarters, by Tom Cotton, a hawkish Republican congressman from Arkansas.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly developed the plan to replace Tillerson, the report said, which involves nominating Sen.
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When Tillerson was tapped for the job late past year, many Trump critics expressed quiet relief that he'd picked a sober "adult" who could form a counterweight to the president's brasher, impulsive approach, especially on critical matters of war and peace. Trump also once tweeted that Tillerson was "wasting his time" on diplomatic efforts with North Korea.
In light of these developments, Carol Lee called Sanders' defense "spin on a whole new level", and Willie Geist found it remarkable that the press secretary would double down after Trump shared a statement from by a convicted hate criminal.
Tillerson answered that "the president speaks for himself". Nauert added that Tillerson "serves at the pleasure of the president". Bill to save cyber diplomacy office advances America's decision on North Korea hinges on Trump's success in Asia MORE.
Tillerson has taken a more hawkish view than Trump on Russian Federation and tried to mediate a dispute after four Arab nations launched a boycott of Qatar.
"There has never been a consideration in my mind to leave", Tillerson said.
"Once again, this administration has proven that just when you think things can't get any worse, Donald Trump and his cronies will find a way".