White House wanted to publicly shame Tillerson, source says

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The overhaul could produce a significant shift in both the tone and direction of the president's foreign policy, removing it from the understated former oil man whose style has never fit well with Trump's.

If Cotton is appointed and confirmed to a Trump administration post, he'd be temporarily replaced in the Senate by Arkansas's Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, before a likely special election to fill the rest of his term later this year.

Pompeo left the U.S. House seat representing Kansas' 4th District to head the Central Intelligence Agency in January.

Mr Tillerson has also defended the Iran nuclear deal, which Mr Trump last month disavowed.

"Mike Pompeo is not somebody that's not going to back down to these terrorists that are out there, these dictators that are out there", Arnold says. A few weeks later, Tillerson voiced his support for the president after a report claimed that he had called Trump a "moron" after a meeting on Afghanistan.

Though Tillerson has publicly denied being unhappy or seeking to resign, it's been repeatedly reported by top officials, including Sen. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tillerson "is here" and there are "no personnel announcements to be made at this time".

Mr. Trump on Thursday refused to answer questions about a White House plan to replace Tillerson after less than a year on the job.

Friction between the president and the nation's top diplomat has grown increasingly public through the year. "When the president loses confidence in someone, they will no longer serve in the capacity that they're in", she said. Tillerson has been overtly refusing to take Trump's hostile line on North Korea. Ironically, Gen. Kelly, whose scheme this was in the first place, is said to have called the State Department initially trying to downplay the report. And the plan is not just being considered at the staff level, but by the President himself, the source said.

"He remains secretary of State", she added.

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