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01 December 2017, 06:20 | Colleen Roy
The White House has come up with a plan for President Trump to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the New York Times reported Thursday
The Times, the first to report the plan, said it was not immediately clear whether President Donald Trump had given final approval to the shakeup. The overhaul could produce a significant shift in both the tone and direction of the president's foreign policy, removing it from the understated former oil man whose style has never fit well with Trump's.
Asked on Thursday if he wanted Tillerson to stay, Trump sidestepped the question saying: "He's here".
Does the president still have confidence in Tillerson? The favored candidate to replace Tillerson is current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, which would leave a vacancy at the CIA.
Tillerson's aloof management style and cost-saving plan to restructure the State Department, including slashing around 2,000 positions, has not helped his popularity.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says there are "no personnel announcements at this time".
This combination of pictures created on November 30, 2017 shows US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) and CIA Director Mike Pompeo in Washington, DC. That is giving West Wing officials pause, a source close to the White House said.
A former Kansas congressman and the current Central Intelligence Agency director could become the new secretary of state. Trump also once tweeted that Tillerson was "wasting his time" on diplomatic efforts with North Korea.
Tillerson's long-rumored departure would end a troubled tenure for the former Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive, who has been increasingly at odds with Trump over issues such as North Korea and under fire for planned cuts at the State Department.
At a private dinner of foreign policy veterans last month, a senior White House official criticized Tillerson for failing to support the president's agenda, according to a person familiar with the matter.
"If the president undercuts what he is trying to achieve diplomatically, convinces people that whatever you agree to with the secretary of state will be overturned by the president ... then he is basically neutered", said Richard Boucher, a former top USA diplomat who now teaches at Brown University.
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