Trump arrives in Helsinki ahead of Putin meeting
White House maintains Trump has confidence in Tillerson
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed media reports that secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on the way out on Friday, maintaining that President Trump continues to have confidence in Tillerson.
"Nothing has changed despite what you may read in the media or watch on TV. I would certainly trust the president and my comments far above those of other reporters," Sanders said at Friday's press briefing.
Sanders said "he does" when asked if Trump stands by his secretary of State.
For the third day in a row, media outlets are filled with stories about how Tillerson has fallen out of standing with Trump and that the White House is seeking his replacement.
Tillerson took the unusual step of holding a press conference on Wednesday to address a NBC News story that claimed he had called Trump a "moron" and that Vice President Pence had to plead with him not to leave the Cabinet.
Tillerson said he's never considered leaving. He didn't address the report that he had called Trump a moron, saying that "the places I come from, we don't deal with petty stuff like that."
However, a State Department spokeswoman later said that Tillerson has never disparaged Trump with that kind of language.
Trump addressed the issue when he visited a hospital in Las Vegas to meet with victims of a mass shooting there on Wednesday.
"It was fake news," Trump said. "It was a totally a phony story ... It was made up. It was made up by NBC. They just made it up."
"Total confidence in Rex. I have total confidence," he added.
Still, news outlets have run stories since then claiming that Trump and Tillerson have clashed over staff and policy on Iran and North Korea and that their relationship has been damaged beyond repair.