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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Tillerson says no truth to reports that he is being replaced

US president Donald Trump also denied reports that Mr Tillerson will be leading his post

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson speaks at the Department of State in Washington DC on December 1, 2017. He denied reports that he will soon be replaced by CIA director Mike Pompeo. Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson speaks at the Department of State in Washington DC on December 1, 2017. He denied reports that he will soon be replaced by CIA director Mike Pompeo. Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson denied on Saturday that he was leaving his post to be replaced by CIA director Mike Pompeo.

Asked if there was any truth to the multiple reports about him this week, Mr Tillerson told Reuters: "None."

"People need to get better sources," he said in a brief interview at the State Department ahead of a dinner to celebrate the recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors awards.

Mr Tillerson said he hoped to be at the same reception a year from now.

"I’m going to be here as long as I can be effective and get something done," he said. "We’re getting a lot done."

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Tillerson's future in doubt as speculation over successor grows

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Senior administration officials on Thursday said US president Donald Trump was mulling a plan to oust the top US diplomat, whose relationship with the president has been strained by Mr Tillerson’s softer line on North Korea and other policy differences.

Mr Trump denied the reports on Friday, saying in a tweet that he worked well with Mr Tillerson and that the diplomat was not going anywhere.

The tweet linked to a picture of Mr Tillerson being sworn in as secretary of state with Mr Trump and vice president Mike Pence looking on.