As tensions between President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson continue to spill out into the public, the administration appears to be readying a substantial shake-up.
According to Axios, the White House is still considering replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, but now a loyal supporter of the president has emerged as a top candidate as Pompeo's replacement: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
Trump views Cotton as a rare ally in the Senate, according to the report. The pair speaks regularly, and the president often takes the senator's advice.
Cotton recently threw his weight behind the president amid the controversy over Tillerson, urging anyone in Trump's cabinet to resign if they have issues with the administration's agenda.
“When you're a cabinet member, when you're a senior adviser in the White House, and the president is right, you should help him achieve his objectives and run with his thinking,” Cotton said, adding if you disagree and ”you feel strongly enough, then you have to resign.”
MSNBC and conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt told Axios that the swap would make sense because both Pompeo and Cotton “like and listen to the president” and “accept his realism in foreign affairs.”
Tillerson over the weekend again refused to definitively refute calling Trump a “moron,” instead blasting CNN's Jake Tapper for “making a game” out of the controversy.
“I'm not making a game out of it,” Tapper fired back. “I'm trying to seek clarity because saying that if I said that my boss was a moron, that would be a serious issue.”
“I'm not dignifying the question with an answer, Jake,” Tillerson said, dodging whether he questioned his boss's intelligence. “I'm a little surprised you want to spend so much time on it when there are so many important issues around the world to deal with.”