Jared Kushner Pushing for Rex Tillerson's Ouster after Ivanka Snub

Citing unnamed "senior administration officials" on Thursday, the New York Times reports that the Trump administration has a detailed plan to push Secretary of State Rex Tillerson out his position and replace him with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who would in turn be replaced by the hawkish U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

Kushner, who has seen his influence in the White House shrink, may receive a "face-saving" exit as he deals with legal challenges related to a special counsel's investigation of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign's potential ties to Russian Federation, one of the sources said.

Mr. Trump on Thursday refused to answer questions about a White House plan to replace Tillerson after less than a year on the job.

The next day, Trump appeared to dismiss those efforts in a tweet, telling Tillerson he was "wasting his time".

"Tillerson was one of the most blatant revolving door cases in the Trump administration and a clear sign that Trump's government was of, by, and for the fossil fuel industry", said Louaillier in a statement. Nauert added that Tillerson "serves at the pleasure of the president".

If Trump went with Pompeo, he would tap a former Army armor officer and Harvard Law School graduate who was in his fourth term representing a Kansas district in Congress when he was chosen to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, where officials say he has enjoyed a less hostile relationship with career spies than Tillerson has had with career diplomats.

She says Tillerson continues to lead the department, and that the entire Cabinet is focused on completing Trump's first year in office.

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

Friction between the president and the nation's top diplomat has grown increasingly public through the year. The president was here today with the secretary of state. That is giving West Wing officials pause, a source close to the White House said.

No matter how long Tillerson is allowed to stay on, his stature and ability to speak on Trump's behalf has been impaired, it is widely agreed.

The former ExxonMobil executive has also defended the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump last month disavowed.

"You're definitely going to see some people leave after tax cuts get done", said a separate Trump adviser, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the administration.

  • Tracy Klein