Reported plans to fire Tillerson roil State Department

But he still would suffer from problems that have afflicted Tillerson, chief among them a boss who has shown little regard for diplomacy and no qualms about undermining his secretary of state with tweets, current and former US officials said.

While the changeup would make another cabinet member leaving or being replaced in less than a year of Trump's presidency, Secretary of Defense James Mattis - who is number six behind number four, Tillerson, in the line of succession - said Thursday afternoon he is not anxious about such a change.

The nature of the reported change also suggests a change in the administration's focus, with Tillerson having, for instance, ruled out imposing regime change in North Korea, while Pompeo, said to be a Trump favorite recently, has openly advocated it.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says there are "no personnel announcements at this time".

Now, CBS News has confirmed the White House has a plan to force Tillerson out.

Tillerson would be replaced within weeks by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a Trump loyalist and foreign policy hard-liner, under a White House plan to carry out the most significant staff shake-up so far of the Trump administration. Under Arkansas law, if Cotton steps down before next July, the state's Republican governor would appoint a replacement who would serve until the November 2018 election. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, to replace Pompeo at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Perhaps more damaging for his internal prospects, though, was a report in October that Tillerson had called Trump a "moron" at one point in the summer - a report Tillerson has conspicuously never denied.

Telecom regulator backs net neutrality
This is at odds with the U.S. regulator, which seems to be moving towards dismantling rules on net neutrality. The move came after an extended campaign by internet activists against Facebook's free basics platform.


Tillerson's likely ouster, which was first reported by the New York Times, loomed awkwardly over an Oval Office meeting Thursday between Trump and the visiting Bahraini crown prince. The president was here today with the secretary of state.

Tillerson has taken a more hawkish view than Trump on Russian Federation and tried to mediate a dispute after four Arab nations launched a boycott of Qatar.

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.

Tillerson successfully convinced Mr. Trump to keep the U.S.in the Iran nuclear deal.

"Once again, this administration has proven that just when you think things can't get any worse, Donald Trump and his cronies will find a way".

"So the question is not whether Pompeo can do the job but whether the president is going to let Pompeo do the job".

  • Sonia Alvarado