The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with President Trump has been strained, and replace him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, within the next several weeks, senior administration officials said on Thursday.
Mr. Pompeo would be replaced at the C.I.A. by Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who has been a key ally of the president on national security matters, according to the White House plan. Mr. Cotton has signaled that he would accept the job if offered, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations before decisions are announced.
It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Trump has given final approval to the plan, but he has been said to have soured on Mr. Tillerson and in general is ready to make a change at the State Department.
John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, developed the transition plan and has discussed it with other officials. Under his plan, the shake-up of the national security team would happen around the end of the year or shortly afterward.
The ouster of Mr. Tillerson would end a turbulent reign at the State Department for the former Exxon Mobile chief executive, who has been largely marginalized over the last year. Mr. Trump and Mr. Tillerson have been at odds over a host of major issues, including the Iran nuclear deal, the confrontation with North Korea and a clash between Arab allies. The secretary was reported to have privately called Mr. Trump a “moron” and the president publicly criticized Mr. Tillerson for “wasting his time” with a diplomatic outreach to North Korea.
And let's be honest about exactly what getting rid of Rex Tillerson and replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo means (and backfilling Pompeo's job with avowed racist asshole Tom Cotton), it means any hope of a diplomatic, non-military solution to North Korea and/or Iran goes up in smoke (or in cruise missile contrails).
Tillerson is a horrendous Secretary of State who gutted America's diplomatic corps in less than a year and his promises to increase diversity at State in August turned into a massive purging of top black and Latino and women diplomats in November. I'm not sorry to see him gone, but Pompeo at State would be the end of US diplomacy period, and Cotton at the CIA would be fundamentally worse.
In other words, Trump would have the people he wants on hand to start the wars he'll need in order to stay in office after Mueller drops the hammer.
You though 2017 was bad? Stay turned for 2018, now just a month away. The odds of us being in a major war before the end of next year just went up substantially.