Relations between Trump, Tillerson strained nearly from the start

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Citing unnamed "senior administration officials" on Thursday, the New York Times reports that the Trump administration has a detailed plan to push Secretary of State Rex Tillerson out his position and replace him with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who would in turn be replaced by the hawkish U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). Now, instead of having a former fossil fuel CEO at the helm of foreign policy, the United States will have an Islamophobic Koch Brothers shill-who built his own business using Koch money and owes his political career first and foremost to their deep pockets.

Tillerson at the time refused to directly address the report that he referred to Trump as a "moron", saying that he would not "deal with petty stuff like that".

Trump has soured on Tillerson mostly because of the "moron" report, his less confrontational approach on North Korea and differences over the Qatar crisis, one senior USA official said.

The timing of Tillerson's expected departure remains uncertain, but multiple officials said the shake-up could come at the end of the year or early next. But he now appears poised to lose an argument: over Tillerson's objections, the president is poised to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Under the plan, Republican Senator Tom Cotton would be tapped to replace Mr Pompeo at the Central Intelligence Agency, the New York Times reported, citing senior officials.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Kelly told Tillerson's chief of staff on Thursday the reports on Tillerson being replaced were not true.

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If carried out, the staff changes would be the latest in a string of firings or resignations in the Trump administration including the departures of the chief of staff, national security adviser and Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later told reporters: "As the President just said, 'Rex is here.' There are no personnel announcements at this time".

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hopes Rex Tillerson stays on as the USA secretary of state.

Mr. Trump has been publicly frustrated with his top diplomat.

That Mr Tillerson has struggled to forge a comfortable relationship with Mr Trump has always been an open secret in Washington.

That's according to two administration officials.

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