White House downplays Trump's meeting with John Bolton

The White House on Thursday downplayed speculation that President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated 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 TillersonScaramucci breaks up with Trump in now-familiar pattern Senate braces for brawl over Trump's spy chief Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank 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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoLatest pro-democracy rally draws tens of thousands in Hong Kong 63 killed in blast at Afghan wedding as Taliban, US negotiate troop withdrawal Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan MORE.

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