More leaks have gushed from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This morning, sources told Axios that President Donald Trump’s advisors are considering replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The decision would come following a tumultuous period between the President and the Secretary of State, which culminated this week in NBC reporting that Tillerson called the President a “moron.” Although Tillerson reaffirmed his loyalty to the President during a press conference that morning, calling the report “erroneously reported” as Trump tweeted that NBC was “#fakenews,” White House sources said their relationship is “broken beyond repair.”
After returning from Las Vegas in the wake of the worst mass shooting in history, Trump was reportedly furious when Tillerson’s gaffe dominated cable news coverage. Despite the press conference where both men publicly aligned against the media, tensions were further exacerbated when Tillerson didn’t try to squash rumors that he had called the President “a moron.”
In the past, the two have previously sparred over the President’s response to Charlottesville (where Trump blamed “both sides” for attacks carried out by white supremacists), North Korea (where Trump said Tillerson was “wasting his time” in negotiating with the isolated state), and policy issues surrounding Iran and Qatar.
Sources told Axios there’s currently “zero trust between the West Wing and the State Department.” However, replacing Tillerson is complicated by the string of highly publicized White House firings that have occurred since Trump first took office. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wants stability, but firing the current Secretary of State could undermine both the executive branch and American foreign policy as a whole.
Pompeo is said to enjoy a good relationship with the President.