If he does, Tillerson would be the latest in a series of senior officials to leave the administration following high-profile departures, including National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon and White House spokesman Sean Spicer.
Trump was alienated by the reported "moron" comment and Tillerson positions that differ from Trump's on North Korea and the Gulf standoff between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, said another senior official.
The response was equally uninspired from the White House briefing room, where White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said simply that "when the President loses confidence in someone, they will no longer serve in the capacity that they're in".
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State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Kelly told Tillerson's chief of staff on Thursday the reports on Tillerson being replaced were not true. The timeline for implementing it, they write, would be "around the end of the year or shortly afterward".
"I think he has represented the United States' interests exceedingly well, particularly in our region", she told Sky News on Friday. Trump has never been one to favor diplomacy either, despite his talk of making deals, and while it makes some sense that he would want a top diplomat who is similarly averse to talking, it's also clearly risky. Then, he would fill the Central Intelligence Agency job with Sen.
In September in Beijing, Tillerson said Washington was probing North Korea to see whether it was interested in dialogue and had multiple direct channels of communication with Pyongyang. And the plan is not just being considered at the staff level, but by the President himself, the source said.
The story originated in the New York Times, and officials are saying that it actually got there directly from the White House, as a way of White House officials "sending a message" to Tillerson.