US Secretary of State Tillerson quashes resignation rumors

Lucy Bush
July 27, 2017

QUESTION: Secretary Tillerson, have you committed to staying in your position as Secretary of State?

When Nauert was asked why Tillerson's time off was not being directly referred to as a vacation, she said she was unsure what language was typically used for such absences.

CNN on Monday reported Tillerson might be planning to leave over his continuing policy and personnel problems with the White House and the way President Donald Trump has been recently treating senior cabinet colleague Jeff Sessions.

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Tillerson's comments Wednesday indicate he is prepared to remain in his post, at least for now.

Tillerson was scheduled to receive visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, according to the state department's schedule of engagements of its senior leaders for Wednesday. "At a time when the world is more interconnected than ever and we face constant cyber threats from state actors, it is vital that we retain a high-level diplomatic role to report directly to the Secretary on global cybersecurity".

Following last month's move by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to boycott Qatar, Tillerson publicly asked the nations to ease their blockade, and put the onus on both sides to end the crisis.

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Some sources also suggested that Tillerson and Trump were at the opposing sides of the arguments when it came to recertifying Iran's commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Nauert flatly denied the secretary is thinking about quitting, saying Tillerson recognizes that "we have a lot of work that is left to be done ahead of us... He recognises that. He's deeply engaged in that work".

The former ExxonMobil CEO's office said Tuesday that he was taking a few days off after a tasking travel schedule.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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