White House has plan to replace top diplomat with CIA chief

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The White House has developed a plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, within weeks, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing senior officials.

Under the plan, Republican Senator Tom Cotton would be tapped to replace Pompeo at the CIA, the New York Times said.

The Times said it was not immediately clear whether President Donald Trump had given final approval to the plan.

Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the report.

US Senator: Tillerson unaware of plan to oust him

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was unaware of any plans to oust him when he spoke to Senator Bob Corker on Thursday, Corker said.

“He’s conducting business, as is the norm, and is unaware of anything changing,” Corker, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters.

The White House responded to speculation about Rex Tillerson’s imminent departure as Secretary of State Thursday, saying he was still in the job and “there are no personnel announcements at this time.”

“Secretary Tillerson continues to lead the State Department and the entire cabinet is focused on completing this incredibly successful first year of President Trump’s administration,” press secretary Sarah Sanders added in a statement.

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