White House considering major shake-up of Trump's national security team

by Antonio Miles December 1, 2017, 6:21
White House considering major shake-up of Trump's national security team

News media reports, first published by the New York Times, that Trump has a plan to replace his embattled secretary of state with Pompeo, a former USA congressman who now heads the Central Intelligence Agency, drew mixed reviews from serving us officials.

Wallace questioned why the reported plan calls for Tillerson to stay until late January, adding the secretary is scheduled to make a trip to Europe next week to meet with key USA allies.

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

That followed a tweet by Trump that Tillerson should not waste his time by seeking negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear and missile program, widely seen as a sign of the secretary of state being marginalized.

The reason for the major shake-up is because Trump has reportedly "soured" on Tillerson and "is ready to make a change at the State Department".

In October, Tillerson shot down a report that said he had been on the verge of resigning from his Cabinet position over the summer.

Tillerson's likely ouster loomed awkwardly over an Oval Office meeting Thursday between Trump and the visiting Bahraini crown prince. And the plan is not just being considered at the staff level, but by the President himself, the source said. Tom Cotton would then be appointed to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

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The unusual temperatures are the result of high pressure aloft combined with weak but warm offshore winds, Thompson said. Friday and Saturday should both see highs of 78 degrees, the weather service said.

This comes after a bitter few months between Tillerson and Mr. Trump in which the president has repeatedly undermined America's chief diplomat.

One of Tillerson's closest allies, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, said Mr. Trump has effectively neutered Tillerson.

Things change quickly at the Trump White House.

Asked about Tillerson, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the secretary of state remained in his post.

The president and Mr Tillerson have also been at odds over a range of policy issues, including the Iran nuclear deal and the approach the United States should take with North Korea. Trump has never been one to favor diplomacy either, despite his talk of making deals, and while it makes some sense that he would want a top diplomat who is similarly averse to talking, it's also clearly risky.

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.


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