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27 July 2017, 04:42 | Floyd Cook
US Secretary Of State Tillerson Denies Rumors He Is Leaving Job
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has no plans to resign - he's "just taking a little time off" amid reports he'll step down at the end of the year.
The rumors of a pending "Rexit" were first spread around by CNN last week, when the network cited sources out of the White House in claiming that the top USA diplomat was frustrated with Trump's different viewpoints on important foreign policy matters.
The former Exxon Mobil Corp. chief said Wednesday that he intends to remain as the US's top diplomat "as long as the president lets me" and described his relationship with Trump as "good". The speculation came amid Trump's rising criticism of another Cabinet member, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and turnover in the White House communications office. "We have a lot of work that is left to be done ahead of us", spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at the daily briefing on Tuesday. "He recognizes that - he's deeply engaged in that work".
The State Department had previously denied the rumors, but Tillerson's remarks to reporters at the department were the first to address them directly.
"He's entitled to take a few days himself", she said. "He's got a lot of work".
It is customary to list "no public appointments" when a secretary is on a personal vacation، according to The Associated Press.
Before last week, Tillerson had strongly maintained he would see through his task of reorganizing the entire State Department after Trump's March budget proposal laid out plans to cut $10 billion from its roughly $47 billion in funding.
Nauert also spoke to Tillerson's thoughts on Trump's politically charged speech to the Boy Scouts -- just three days after Tillerson's own. CNN said that among Tillerson's growing differences with the White House were fresh debate over Iran policy and the process of naming White House personnel, as well as Trump's chaotic and confusing foreign policy approach.
Tillerson is "aware of the president's comments،" but didn't express an opinion on what he said، according to Nauert.
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