Trump allies say that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went “off script” in his comments Tuesday, in which he offered talks without preconditions with North Korea. This perhaps isn’t surprising in and of itself, as the White House offered a correction Wednesday,and Tillerson retracted the offer Friday.
Another embarrassing chance for the White House to undercut diplomatic comments by the Secretary of State, however, appears not to have been enough for Trump’s top aides, who say that the incident proves Tillerson “hasn’t learned his lesson,” and can’t remain in his post.
Trump has repeatedly undercut Tillerson on the idea of diplomacy with North Korea, and back in late November, it was suggested he would soon be fired and replaced with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. This threat was said to have originated with President Trump himself, though he had since denied it.
Now, his allies say once again Tillerson remains on the chopping block, though Pompeo may no longer be the front-runner to replace him, with Trump preferring to keep the hawkish CIA director in his current spot because he likes to get daily briefings from him.