A report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was considering resigning because of upheaval in the White House is false, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauerft told The Hill on Monday.
“We have spoken with the secretary. The secretary has been very clear he intends to stay here at the State Department,” Nauert told reporters. “We have a lot of work that is left to be done ahead of us. He recognizes that. He’s deeply engaged in that work.”
“He does, however, serve at the pleasure of the president just as any cabinet official would,” she added.
CNN on Monday reported that Tillerson was unhappy with President Donald Trump for his public rebuke of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and close friends told the news outlet they wouldn’t be surprised if Tillerson made an early exit.
Tillerson allegedly does not see eye to eye with Trump on the Iran deal, and this week had a contentious meeting about it with the president. Trump on Tuesday sidelined the State Department and asked a group of White House staffers to target the Iran nuclear deal.
“This is about the president asking Tillerson at the last certification meeting 90 days earlier to lay the groundwork so Trump could consider his options,” a source told Foreign Policy.
“Tillerson did not do this, and Trump is infuriated. He can’t trust his secretary of state to do his job, so he is turning to the few White House staffers he trusts the most,” the source added.