The White House has not officially confirmed nor denied the reported impending departure of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State but during a press availability ahead of a meeting with the Crown Prince of Bahrain, the president was asked if Tillerson would be leaving.
“He’s here,” Mr. Trump said. “Rex is here.”
New reports have put Tillerson’s departure at some time in January, but these reports have not been confirmed by the White House.
Aftward, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Tillerson is still Secretary of State but hinted that this might be his last year.
“As the President just said, ‘Rex is here.’,” Sanders said. “There are no personnel announcements at this time. Secretary Tillerson continues to lead the State Department and the entire cabinet is focused on completing this incredibly successful first year of President Trump’s administration.”
About the meeting with the Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Al Khalifa, Trump said “It’s my great honor to have the crown prince of Bahrain in the Oval Office. We’re doing a lot of business. They’re buying a lot of things. I’ve heard $9 billion… Very nice, terrific, we appreciate it. We’ve had a long relationship and a great relationship and it will only get better. I can tell you they have been, and you have been, a great friend.”
The prince also spoke to reporters.
“It’s a great honor to be here,” Ak Khalifa said. “This is a very important trip for us. And indeed we are building on a hundred years relationship between the kingdom of Bahrain and the United States and the peoples of both countries have benefited from this relationship and we continue to seek ways to strengthen that.”