WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the White House considering a plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (all times local):
President Donald Trump says media speculation that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will leave his job soon is “fake news.”
Trump is responding on Twitter to widespread reports attributed to White House officials describing a plan to oust Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Trump says it’s incorrect that he “fired Rex Tillerson” or that the secretary will be leaving soon. He says Tillerson is “not leaving.”
The president says he and Tillerson disagree on some subjects but adds that “I call the shots.” Trump says he and Tillerson “work well together” and that the U.S. is once again “highly respected.”
Trump’s tweet links to a photograph of Tillerson being sworn into office earlier this year in the Oval Office while Trump and Vice President Mike Pence look on.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is dismissing as “laughable” reports that the White House is trying to get rid of him.
Tillerson was asked about the reports during a photo-op with the visiting Libyan prime minister. Multiple officials say White House is considering a plan to replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Tillerson said twice, “It’s laughable,” but made no other comments to journalists before leaving the room.
The State Department has said Tillerson plans to remain on the job. He is scheduled to leave Monday on an official, four-country trip to Europe.
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