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Political Editors / November 30, 2017

Another Round of Bye, Bye, Rex…

Rumors abound that Tillerson will be stepping down as secretary of state in the near future.

The latest rumor out of the mill on Capitol Hill is that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will soon be stepping down. It has long been suspected that Tillerson’s stint at the State Department wouldn’t last a year, and it now appears that speculation may become fact. The basis for this rumor has been a strained relationship between President Donald Trump and Tillerson. It seems that Trump has been repeatedly frustrated by Tillerson’s handling of major international issues, specifically the Iran nuclear deal and North Korea. Arguably, the writing has been on the wall ever since it was leaked that Tillerson had privately referred to Trump as a “moron.”

If Tillerson does step down, the plan according to various reports is for current CIA Director Mike Pompeo to step in at State, and his Senate confirmation should be easily assured. Who then would fill the role of CIA chief? Well, this is where the story gets interesting. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has been floated by the White House, and he has indicated that he would be willing to take the post. What is so interesting about this choice is the obvious problem it poses for Senate Republicans, who are already clinging to a slim majority that might get that much slimmer should Democrat Doug Jones defeat Roy Moore in Alabama next month.

While Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson is sure to appoint a Republican to replace Cotton, that would still put the seat up for election next year — a year that many are fearing could be bad for Republicans. We now await to see how all these rumors pan out.

(Edited.)

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