The Associated Press is reporting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked Friday morning about reports the president had plans to fire him.
“It’s laughable,” Tillerson told press.
BREAKING: Secretary of State Tillerson on reports that White House is considering plan to oust him: "It's laughable"
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 1, 2017
At 12:30 pm Friday, the president will meet for lunch with Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who said Thursday there’s “nothing to” reports that Tillerson may be on the chopping block:
“I make nothing of it, there’s nothing to it,” Mattis said in response to a reporter’s question on his response to reports that Tillerson is soon to step down.
Multiple news outlets reported Thursday the White House was working on a plan to replace Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
The White House has rejected the report, as has State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, who said Thursday that White House chief of staff John Kelly called Tillerson to tell him the story was false.
White House: Plan to replace Tillerson was meant to “publicly shame” him.
Mattis: "I make nothing of it. There's nothing to it."
Tillerson: "It's laughable."
Trump is having lunch with both of them today. To be a fly on the wall. pic.twitter.com/R0DyaWf1gb
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) December 1, 2017
Fox News host Sandra Smith reported Friday morning that Nauert texted her on-air with a reminder of Tillerson’s travel schedule, which includes a meeting next week with European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, indicating the Secretary has no plans to cease his work schedule in the face of reports he may be let go.
Tillerson, in a departure from most of his cohort in the Trump administration, has leveled pointed criticism at Russia, on Tuesday saying the regime in Moscow engages in “a campaign of force, intimidation and subterfuge in an attempt to overpower neighbors and reassert a position of dominance on the world stage.”