Tillerson Responds to Reports White House Planning Ouster

By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2017 1:10 PM CST
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson turns to leave after a media opportunity with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday addressed widespread reports that the White House has a plan to oust him in favor of CIA Director Mike Pompeo, the Hill reports. During a meeting with the prime minister of Libya, Tillerson called the reports from Thursday "laughable" while waving off a reporter's question about them. Despite his first public comments on the reports not being much to go on, they may suggest that Tillerson has no plans to resign from his position. That could throw a wrench in the White House's reported schemes. A source close to the White House tells CNN the plan to replace Tillerson with Pompeo was leaked to publicly embarrass the secretary of state, then "wait for him to punch out." (Read more Rex Tillerson stories.)

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