Trump Calls Reports That He Will Fire Tillerson 'Fake News'

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson / Getty Images
December 1, 2017

President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed press reports that he plans on firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, calling them "fake news" in a tweet.

Trump's comments followed multiple reports, citing administration officials, that the White House has developed a plan to oust Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who in turn would be replaced by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.).

"The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon—Fake News!" Trump wrote on Twitter. "He's not leaving."

Trump added that although he and Tillerson "disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!"

The tweet also linked to a post on Trump's Instagram account, which includes a picture of Tillerson's swearing-in ceremony.

Trump has frequently been at odds with Tillerson, airing some of their disagreements publicly. The president once said that Tillerson was "wasting his time trying to negotiate" with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"Save your energy, Rex, we'll do what has to be done," he tweeted.

In October, both Trump and Tillerson denied reports that the secretary of state threatened to resign, calling them "fake news." Some news outlets reported at the time that Tillerson had privately called Trump a "moron" at a meeting over the summer.