The White House has developed a transition plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo within the next several weeks according to latest reports.
Mr. Pompeo, a former three-term member of Congress, has impressed the President during daily intelligence briefings and became a trusted policy adviser on issues far beyond the CIA’s normal mandate.
Pompeo would be replaced at the CIA by Senator Tom Cotton is going to be replaced at the CIA by Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who has been a key ally of the president on national security matters, according to the White House plan. Cotton has signaled that the would accept the job if he was offered, said the officials, who have insisted on anonymity to discuss deliberations before decisions are announced.
While associates of Tillerson have said that Tillerson is intent on finishing out the year, mainstream media reports of shake-ups in the Trump administration have often proved incorrect. Some anonymously-sourced reports have been seen as deep-state rumors intent upon creating rifts in the White House.
State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert has told reporters Thursday afternoon that the White House Chief-of-staff John Kelly has called them on Thursday morning to tell them that the reports of a plan to replace Tillerson were “not true.”
Cotton’s replacement will be appointed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and will serve until the 2018 election. Cotton’s current term was set to end in 2020.