Trump, on Twitter, says Tillerson will remain

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US President Donald Trump said on Friday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not leaving the administration, contradicting news reports that the White House was planning to replace the top US diplomat.

“The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon - FAKE NEWS!,” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

“He is not leaving and while we disagree on certain subjects (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!”

The statement was made after the New York Times published an article, cited sources claiming, that the White House has developed a plan to replace Secretary Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, within weeks.

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

Next week, Tillerson is due to be in Europe to attend ministerial meetings of NATO in Brussels and the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna.

There, he will also hold a bilateral US-Russia meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

(Reuters, AFP)

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