Rumors of a planned ouster of Rex Tillerson are nothing new, but the New York Times reports it's learned of an actual plan to do so. Unnamed senior White House officials tell the paper that chief of staff John Kelly has created a transition plan, to be put in place just before or after the new year, that would see Tillerson out as secretary of state and CIA Director Mike Pompeo in; Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton would take Pompeo's place. The Times reports it doesn't know if Trump has signed off on the plan. A bite from the Times: "An end-of-year exit would make his time in office the shortest of any secretary of state whose tenure was not ended by a change in presidents in nearly 120 years."
- Trump's comments: Tillerson's likely ouster loomed awkwardly over an Oval Office meeting Thursday between Trump and the visiting crown prince of Bahrain, reports the AP. Asked by a reporter whether he wanted Tillerson to stay on the job, Trump was coy, merely pointing out that Tillerson was in fact in the room for the meeting. "He's here. Rex is here," the president said.