Pompeo under consideration to replace Tillerson as secretary of State: report

Pompeo under consideration to replace Tillerson as secretary of State: report
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Advisers and allies of President Trump have suggested replacing Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump formally sends Pompeo nomination to Senate Trump uses Nowruz to hit Iranian government Trump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report MORE with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump formally sends Pompeo nomination to Senate New CLOUD Act, supported by major tech, trusts Sessions and Pompeo to defend our human rights Pompeo must improve foreign aid, trickle-down education doesn’t work MORE, according to an Axios report.

Trump is said to have a good rapport with Pompeo, who delivers the President's Daily Brief. According to Axios, Pompeo would be seen by world leaders as a member of Trump's inner circle in a way Tillerson is not.

At the same time, however, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE has reportedly urged the president against high-level shake-ups before next year, fearing that it would only add to the chaos in the administration.


Trump and Tillerson's relationship has appeared increasingly fraught. The president has publicly undercut his top diplomat more than once, and a bombshell Washington Post report this week portrayed tensions based not only on major policy disagreements, but small matters as well. 

In an unusual news conference on Wednesday, Tillerson sought to dispel an NBC News report that White House officials, including Vice President Pence, had to talk him out of stepping down over the summer. 

"The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as secretary of State because I have never considered leaving," Tillerson said.

But in that same news conference, Tillerson did not address part of that report claiming that he had once called Trump a "moron" after a tense meeting over the administration's Afghanistan strategy.

While State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert later said that Tillerson had assured her he never used such language to describe the president, Axios reported Friday that Trump was angered that the secretary of State did not address the matter himself.