In the past few weeks, there have been reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on his way out at the White House.
The news initially surfaced in The New York Times in an article headlined “White House Plans Tillerson Ouster From State Dept., to Be Replaced by Pompeo.”
As reported by Independent Journal Review previously:
The Times reports that Trump has “soured” on Tillerson and “is ready to make a change at the State Department.” The pair's relationship has been strained in recent months, especially following a report that alleged that the secretary of state questioned Trump's intelligence, a claim Tillerson has yet to fully deny.
Senior administration officials told the Times on Thursday that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) would replace Pompeo at the CIA and that Cotton has shown interest in the gig.
In addition to causing a stir, the article from the Times led other outlets to publish their angles of the story.
The Los Angeles Times did a piece on it headlined “Mike Pompeo would be a more effective Secretary of State than Rex Tillerson. That may not be a good thing.” But it isn't the only one. On Tuesday, Reuters put out a piece titled “Commentary: The problem with a post-Tillerson State Department.”
What does Tillerson think about the report? During a press conference in Brussels for NATO, he challenged the credibility of the claims and took a significant shot at news outlets for reporting the story as fact.
An AP reporter asked Tillerson about the issue.
The exchange was as follows, according to The Hill:
“On several occasions, the president has publicly undermined your diplomatic efforts. In recent days, White House officials have said that you are going to be pushed out. And these are not media inventions. These are coming from the White House,” the reporter said.
“Many Americans see these efforts as humiliating to you. You have had an illustrious career. Why do you put up with it? Why don’t you quit?” the reporter asked.
“This is a narrative that keeps coming up about every six weeks,” Tillerson responded. “And I would say you all need to get some new sources because your story keeps being wrong.”
That settles that dispute.