Mattis: There's 'nothing' to reports of Tillerson leaving

Mattis: There's 'nothing' to reports of Tillerson leaving
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Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisPentagon approves hundreds more National Guard troops to support border agents Overnight Defense: Trump now says Kim summit could still happen June 12 | Details emerge on Senate defense bill | Trump tells Navy grads 'they are respecting us again' Hillicon Valley: Sweeping new data rules take effect | Facebook, Google already hit with complaints | Schumer slams reported ZTE deal | Senators look to save cyber post | Dem wants answers about Trump's phone security MORE on Thursday brushed aside reports that President Trump is considering replacing Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonGOP fundraiser claims foreign government helped hack his emails Five takeaways on the canceled Trump summit with Kim Dem lawmaker confronts Pompeo over spending cuts to diplomatic security MORE.

“I make nothing of it, there's nothing to it,” Mattis said in response to a reporter’s question on his response to reports that Tillerson is soon to step down.

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Multiple news outlets reported Thursday the White House was working on a plan to replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGOP-Trump trade fight boils over with threat to cars Five signs the US-North Korea summit might still happen Hatch, Trump say American held in Venezuela returning to US MORE.

The White House has rejected the report, as has State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, who said Thursday that White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE called Tillerson to tell him the story was false.

But press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday refused to say whether Trump has confidence in Tillerson.

“When the president loses confidence in someone, they will no longer serve in the capacity that they're in,” Sanders said.

Speaking at the beginning of a meeting with the Libyan prime minister at the Pentagon, Mattis also rejected the idea that diplomacy with North Korea had not worked given the isolated country’s missile launch earlier this week.

“I am not willing to say that diplomacy has not worked. We will continue to work diplomatically, we will continue to work through the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council, and we will be unrelenting in that,” Mattis told reporters.

“At the same time, our diplomats will speak from a position of strength because we do have military options," he continued.

Following North Korea's launch, Trump said the missile test would not alter the administration’s strategy to rein in Pyongyang. Tillerson, meanwhile, said diplomatic options “remain viable and open, for now.”