Before the Mike Flynn story broke, the looming departure of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the biggest news out of the White House in the last few days. But President Donald Trump is putting that rumor to bed, for now, declaring it "fake news."
The president tweeted that he has not fired Tilleson and that the two men work well together:
The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon - FAKE NEWS! He’s not leaving and while we disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!https://t.co/FrqiPLFJ1E— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
Trump also posted a photo of Tillerson's swearing in as Secretary in the Oval Office.
At A joint photo op with the prime minister of Libya, Tillerson dismissed the news that he was being fired.
"It's laughable, it's laughable," Tillerson said.
Fox News White House Correspondent John Roberts said even with Trump's tweet and Tillerson's dismissal of his looming dismissal, that doesn't mean Tillerson won't leave in the New Year.
"This may not be a case of the president pushing him out, it may be a case of the secretary of state just deciding he's had enough of being secretary of state and he wants to go off to the next phase of his life," Roberts said.
Roberts reports that his contacts in the Trump administration are preparing a plan of succession should Tillerson decide to leave in January.