Trump plans State Department shift; AR Sen. Tom Cotton in the mix

Trump Talks Politics at Boy Scouts Event

Relations between President Trump and the senior member of his Cabinet - the former CEO of Exxon Mobil - have been strained nearly from the start. Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

Pompeo left the U.S. House seat representing Kansas' 4th District to head the Central Intelligence Agency in January.

"He's here. Rex is here", Trump offered, noting that Tillerson was in the building - but not in the room - at the time. "Secretary Tillerson continues to lead the State Department and the entire cabinet is focused on completing this incredibly successful first year of President Trump's administration", she said in a statement.

Asked whether he wanted Tillerson to remain in his job, Trump sidestepped the question, telling reporters at the White House: "He's here".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders added there are not any personnel changes to announce at this time.

Friction between the president and the nation's top diplomat has grown increasingly public through the year. "Perfect" is widely reported to be behind some of the most egregious mistakes of Trump's presidency so far, including the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Trump's decision to back the doomed Alabama primary candidacy of Sen. Tillerson has been overtly refusing to take Trump's hostile line on North Korea.

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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly developed the transition plan and has discussed it with other officials, the Times reported.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hopes Rex Tillerson stays on as the U.S. secretary of state.

It is exceedingly rare for a secretary of state, America's face on the global stage, to be fired or to serve for a year or less. On several occasions, the president publicly undercut his diplomatic initiatives. But he now appears poised to lose an argument: over Tillerson's objections, the president is poised to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"The succession thing to me is just chatter at the moment", they said.

Tillerson joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in pressing Trump not to pull the United States out of an agreement with Iran and world powers over Tehran's nuclear capabilities.

Tensions have also run high between Tillerson and veteran diplomats who oppose his proposed staff and budget cuts.

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