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White House downplays Trump's meeting with John Bolton

The White House on Thursday downplayed speculation that President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE could be eyeing former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton for a position in his administration. 

Bolton is scheduled to meet with Trump later Thursday, days after news reports surfaced the White House has a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHouse passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department Biden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet With salami-slicing and swarming tactics, China's aggression continues MORE

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Bolton is simply “a friend of the president” and described the meeting as “nothing more than a check in and a friendly visit.”

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News reports last week indicated that the White House is looking to replace Tillerson, with whom Trump has frequently clashed, with CIA Director Mike PompeoMike PompeoPompeo on CIA recruitment: We can't risk national security to appease 'liberal, woke agenda' DNC gathers opposition research on over 20 potential GOP presidential candidates Dozens of scientists call for deeper investigation into origins of COVID-19, including the lab theory MORE.

Bolton was considered for several high-ranking posts during the presidential transition but ultimately did not take a job.