Washington: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson enjoys his job as Washington’s top diplomat and intends to stay on, his spokeswoman said today, after reports suggested President Donald Trump plans to force him out.
Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had called the State Department to assure officials that the reports that he was to be replaced were untrue.
“Secretary Tillerson enjoys this job. He has a lot of work to do,” Nauert said, confirming that the secretary has a week of meetings planned next week with European ministers in Brussels, Stockholm, Vienna and Paris.
“Chief of Staff Kelly called our department this morning and said that the rumours are not true, that those reports are not true. That is what I’ve been told, and that’s what we’ve been told, and you heard from the White House today that they have no personnel changes announce.”
As Nauert spoke at the State Department, Tillerson was at the White House for a meeting with top national security officials on the crisis in Syria.
Earlier, The New York Times — followed shortly afterwards by several other news outlets — had reported that Trump has become frustrated with Tillerson and plans to replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.