Tuesday 23 October 2018

Tillerson 'to be sacked' in favour of CIA boss Pompeo

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: Cliff Owen/AP
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: Cliff Owen/AP

Rozina Sabur

US President Donald Trump will sack his senior diplomat within weeks, US media has claimed, in what would be the biggest change to his administration to date.

The White House has reportedly developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (inset below) and replace him with the current CIA director Mike Pompeo.

Under the plan, the Republican senator Tom Cotton would be offered the top job at the intelligence agency, senior officials have told the 'New York Times'.

When asked about reports, Mr Trump declined to say whether he wanted Mr Tillerson to remain in the job.

"He's here. Rex is here," he said.

Mr Cotton, the senator for Arkansas, has been a key ally of the president on national security matters.

Mr Tillerson's relationship with the president is thought to have been strained after reports emerged that he had called Mr Trump a "moron" during a meeting at the Pentagon.

When the reports emerged, Mr Tillerson repeatedly refused to answer when asked whether he had made the comments.

But in response, Mr Trump said: "I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win."

The president and Mr Tillerson have also been at odds over a range of policy issues, including the Iran nuclear deal and the approach the US should take with North Korea. Mr Trump publicly criticised Mr Tillerson during the secretary's trip to Asia for "wasting his time" by attempting to hold a diplomatic conversation with North Korea.

Irish Independent

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